Tonight was the 5th race of the HDR Summer XC Series. It was only my second attempt at the 3 miler. I did the one miler as my warm up. I ran it nice and relaxed and finished in 8:35. Funny thing is that two weeks ago, I eased into and pushed the latter 2/3 and ended up at 8:38! This gave me some confidence going into the 3 miler. We took off and at first I tried to stay close to Dave Weary, who has been winning our 50s age group. Going into the first Rayburn Hill in heavy traffic I got ahead. A bit later I noticed Adam Conoway up ahead of me, but I was gaining. I caught him at the far end of that first loop.
At this point I should mention that Alan changed the course of the race. The first part was the same. After we finished the first loop, rather than making a left to go over the little hill by the parking lot, we made a right and headed over the Rayburn Hill again. We started back out into the same loop a second time. We ran down into the low portion and climbed back up. At this point, rather than veering left as would be usual, we veered right. This take us to the other side of the loop but we were headed in a Counter Clockwise Position. This led to some two way traffic. Not just for the first runners but all the way back to where I was.
After heading around the end of the loop (over near the trail that connects the two halves of the park) we are heading east. The city graded a new path that went down into the ditch and up the other side. So we took this path down into the ditch, a little ways in it, and then up. This led us to the freeway side loop not to far from the gate where we would normally be joining it. We did the freeway loop counter clockwise as usual. Every time we had a sharp enough turn I could see Adam back there so I concentrated on keeping up the pace.
Upon finishing the freeway loop we went back through the ditch, and headed onto the other loop. Now we were going around the loop clockwise. Once again, btw, there was a bit of two way traffic. In the ditch, you have to be careful as there are a couple of blind corners. To finish we completed the loop heading up the ramp near the gate. We veered right and then doubled back over Rayburn Hill and that other hill. Finally we went through the gate to the finish. Coming off the last hill I still saw Adam back there. I think he gained on me during this last loop. But he was too far back to catch me.
Unless there was some other 50 year old guy there that I was not aware of, I won the age group! Yeah. My time was 23:42. I failed to start my Garmin somehow so I do not have the GPS data. Others who wore GPS reported the course to be 2.85 to 3.05 long. So, it is probably a true 3 mile course, as opposed to the old one which was definitely long.
Looking at pace, using 3 miles, I averaged 7:54. This was more than 10 s per mile faster than two weeks ago…. on a much hotter day, btw.