A first but definitely not the last trail race I'll run. Like racing bikes the dirt is far more exciting than the pavement. The PMTR was my first attempt at a trail race. The strategy was very similar to that of a mtb race. Go like mad to the singletrack then patience takes over. Since my ability to kill it at the beginning is far from elite.
A pre run of the opening single told me the trick was to start fast yet smart. The start saw 160 runners toe the line up at the entrance to the park. A downhill paved start, all while jockeying for position. A bit spastic yet conservative. The single track came up quick and with the 30 something folks ahead this was to be a test of patience. Luckily I had the smart-ass card tucked in my britches.
The opening trail was a lot of fun. With some wider single track aided in the passing of the hot starters. All seriousness started when the pace came to a stop on the technical sections. The set in rock steps were killing some folks. Then came some serious steep section of narrow slick trail. Here comes the SA card. Pull to the side roadie and let the dirt huggers through.
To the top, I thought I may loose it. Collecting myself I tagged onto the 6 of some chick killing it. Motivation in many ways. One to not be chicked. I'm fine with it. It happens all the time. To the top of Kanuga Trail where the course tops out and downhill we go. This is the part that sketches me out. This chick passes me cruising. So I take off after her. Putting myself in MTB downhill mode to find the groove I was missing.
Transition to the rollers of the final sections of trails. The hills were really good to me. I felt good cruising through the trees in control of my feet and lungs. Pulled in another local in the next rocky downhill section. This cat was dropping gas bombs left and right. I had to pull back a touch till the opportunity to pass came again. The out and back trail was the last section. Seeing one more runner up ahead, I could not resist the chase. Out sprinting him towards the end. Fun stuff.
Then onto the business of eating some pancakes. Yes that's right the post-race meal of hot off the griddle pancakes. Wash that down with some chocolate milk (A+). What an experience, the organization had it down. This running thing ain't so bad. Pancakes at a bike race? Anyway finals had me finishing 7mi. in 1:02, 16th overall, 3rd in my age group. Two minute off my goal, but I know where I lost that 2+ minutes.