I had the pleasure of running my fourth Frozen Sasquatch 50K this past Saturday in Charleston, WV. After my broken rib/s hiatus from racing during the fall of '14, I was more than happy to hit the buttery single track -- actually, extremely muddy this year -- at Kanawha State Forest.
My training has been leisure over the past couple of months, but I have been running a decent amount of mileage -- just no real quality or specificity since early October. I was excited to test my base fitness a bit and to measure the amount of work needed to be done before my stout spring racing schedule.
|Courtesy of Nick Billock|
Being a 2-loop 50K, the race lends itself to a solid assessment of pacing. I came through the first lap in 2:17 -- feeling fine, but as if I was running a little too "fast" for it to be sustainable. The little slips of the extremely muddy course were starting to take their toll on my hip flexors. I believe I came through lap one around 2:14 in the two years that I ran 4:34 and 4:35 -- so considering my fitness . . . not too bad at all. I knew I would inevitably slow, but at least I had two runners in front to cajole me along.
After AS 1 on loop #2, I simply wanted to cruise the last 10+ miles and be done. I was feeling a little apathetic and tired; sometimes it's just a whole heck of a lot more fun running with someone! After the Johnson Hollow AS (#2), I luckily found my second wind and really picked up the pace. It wasn't intentional; I just felt really good and felt like running hard. Eventually I saw Brian Talon up ahead. We had chatted a few moments as he passed me on the first loop and learned that he was from CT. He seemed like a great fellow from our brief exchange and I could tell he was a talented runner. I was hoping for a sneak attack since Brian was still running well, but alas he looked back and saw me while I was still a good 200-meters behind. Brian picked up the pace and I knew that he was going to be a great competitor and make me work for it. The race was on! This was the most fun I had the whole race. Brian took off and I slowly reeled him in over the next mile. Nothing like some good clean competition to get the motor running! Man I love that . . .
Regardless, I ended up finishing strong in 4:49 -- good enough for second place overall. Not my slowest time, but not my best -- given the days conditions, I am well pleased.
|Photo: Dan Todd|
Many thanks to Mike Dolin and the rest of the wonderful volunteers at the Frozen Sasquatch. Such a great grass-roots event and a wonderful way to start the New Year! Full results HERE.
And I nearly forgot . . . How many races do you get the opportunity to moon a sasquatch?
|The aforementioned post-mooning chuckle|