Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Backyard Burn #1: Hemlock Overlook - Clifton, VA

Last year, heather and I signed up for the backyard burn series which is composed of 5 10 mile trail runs throughout Northern VA.  Last year, I was nursing an achilles tendonitis thing and never got to run any of the races.  So the first trail 10 miler was at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Clinton, VA.  The day of the race was Sunday March 3rd, 2013 - the weather when we woke up was 29F and a tad windy...not exactly great running weather but not that bad either.  So we get up around 5am, I down some water and have two pieces of raisin bread.  Not really enough for a 10 miler as difficult as Hemlock.  So we get there nice and early, pick up our bibs, packet, and BYB t-shirt, then back to the car to warm up!

 Walking down to the rec center at Hemlock, I get a shot of heather:

Finally comes time for the race.   Jim, the race director of the BYB series and EX2 Adventures lays out the course and explains how technical it is around 8:50am, 10 minute before the race.  As far as trail races go, he does an awesome job marking the trails.    So after Jim gives us the rundown of the race, he says, "were starting in 45 seconds"....a little jolting but hey, I guess I am ready...then were off...my first mile was an 8:07 and was pretty good but that is before we even hit the meat of the trail.  As we do the a small loop to string out the runners before you get into the trail (a common strategy for race directors to get people spread out before bunching everyone up), we hit the opening of the first 5 mile loop.  Below is a snapshot of me over the rock farm at hemlock - of course the pic is not to flattering and makes me look like I have a gut or something...
 Below is another action photo:

The wind could actually be felt through the trees which was interesting b/c it must of been worse out in the open.  The course was very hilly and had a nice stretch of just rocks, not little rocks, prehistoric bitches that turned the run into a hike immediately.  Then after the rock farm, you hit a major uphill run...I am thinking shit, this is a real trail with real hills.  I finally get to the 5 mile mark and the 5 milers peel off and I see the clock which was 45 minutes and a few seconds.  I had no idea if I was running to hard or not hard enough...plus I had to piss something fierce...so about 5.5 miles in, I stopped to take a piss....figured there was no way possible  to place...Below you can see the result of two tumbles down the hill but still in one piece...

The second 5 miler went about the same and I ended up with a time of 1:28:42 with a overall place of 46th out of 172.  I finished 18th in the 40-49 age group good enough to get me 3 points for the first run.  Did I run my fastest race, I don't think so but it was the first time I ran it and really had no idea how to run the hills...My next race is next Sunday, the 10th of March at Wakefield Park...not as many hills and less technical...yay but it means the times will be faster.  All in all had a fun time running with heather...she PR'd by 2 minutes from the last time she ran hemlock so that is awesome.  Did 10 miles this morning and will try to get around 35 miles in this week and maybe 40 next week...

No comments:

Post a Comment