June 5, 2011

Chester Woods 10 Mile 2011

Finally got off my back side and jumped into a fun little 10 mile race down near Rochester that I've done a couple of times before: the Chester Woods 10 Mile. My training has been very haphazard for the last year and a half for a variety of reasons, and being out of shape and feeling like I'm starting at the very beginning has been frustrating. But, there's only one way to fix that - get back in the game!

This year, the race was held on the second day of summer. Meaning, we've had a cooler than usual spring, and the day before the race was our first day of 90+ degree weather with high humidity. Woke up on race day to cooler temps, but still sticky dew points (not my forte, even when well trained). Got to the race with plenty of time to spare and met up with a few running buddies that I haven't seen since last year (another good reason to get back out on the trails).

There were some minor course changes to the 10 mile race this year - mostly backing up the start line and having a different route to the finish. There seemed to be a little more asphalt than I remembered in previous years - glad I chose to wear shoes instead of going barefoot, which I was seriously considering. The prairie sections were brutally hot even early in the day, especially considering nobody has had a chance to get acclimated to heat and humidity yet. Pretty course, I was able to catch a glimpse of Lynn and Sara out on the trail as they were running the inaugural 50K (just added a few weeks ago). Kept leap frogging with Chris, who was running her first trail race! I would pass her on the downs and she would pass me on the ups. Eventually, she pulled away at the Big Dam Hill and finished about a minute ahead of me. Always fun to meet new friends out in the woods - the people are one of the best things about trail races. I ended up finishing with my slowest ever 10 mile trail time, which is to be expected when SOME one takes an 18 month vacation from regular training ;) Still had plenty of fun none the less!

Hung out afterwards and waited to see how some of my buddies running the 50K were faring with a new course in hot and humid conditions. There were some logistical problems with volunteers giving incorrect instructions out in the field, but the first time running a new race is bound to have a few bugs that will need to be worked out in the future. Congrats to Bill P. for pulling out a 50K PR!

Thanks to RD Jim and the Rochester Track Club crew for putting on another fun event! The dirty magazines, burma shave mile marker signs, and dill pickles at the finish line are unique to this race and make it a fun atmosphere. It's also getting to be a not so little race - I recommend putting it on your calendar and coming to the party next year!

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