Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prickly Pear 50k Race report

I was very excited to run this race, as I had wanted to run it for awhile. The trail conditions there were dry, as there had been no rain in the area in some time. In fact, the weather was approaching the mid-eighties as race day approached, so I knew my time was going to be a little slower.

I had met a friend of mine from Idaho, and my wife and I had dinner at Olive Garden the night before with Jenny and one of her friends. It was a great dinner, with good conversation and good pasta. I was so ready to excitement was building. I could barely sleep that night as I thought about the race.

The next morning, Jenny, her friend, and I, all loaded up and headed for McCallister Park. It is an interesting place, as you don't expect to see such a large acreage of trails, trees, cliffs, and wild country sitting in the middle of San Antonio, Texas. We received our race briefing, along with the discussion about leaving the Rattlesnakes alone if we saw any...which I had planned on anyway....common sense, right? As they said, "go," we all took off and entered the first part of the trail, which was a single track through low hanging tree branches and a dried, hard-packed ground. The 50k was held in conjunction with a 10 mile event, which they would run one time, but we would run 3 10.3 mile loops.

as we proceeded to the top of a dam, the wind hit me full in the was so strong, I thought it was going to blow my bib right off my shirt. We headed into this 40 mph wind for about a mile before the trail went downhill into a nice Live Oak forest, where the wind was negligible. Soon after that, we found the hardest part of the trail...a cliff you could barely walk was very steep and was better "climbed" than ran. The rest of the trail consisted of single track trails through Live Oaks, and then meandered behind some houses, out past some soccer fields, and then back into the woods for the final three or four miles. The hills were manageable, but I walked a few of them nonetheless.

I ran the first loop in a little over 2 hours, and was doing fine. I came around for the second loop a little slower, but at the 22 mile mark, I started getting cramps in my left hamstring. It tightened up on me, forcing me to slow down and walk more than I would have liked that last 10 mile loop. The heat was unbearable in some spots, but there was a nice cloud cover that kept it from getting out of hand.

I finished in 7 hours, and was a little disappointed in my time, as I wanted to break 6 hours, but the temperatures ensured a PR was not going to happen. All in all, it was a great trail run. I struggled the last 8 miles, but it made the run all the more memorable. Great race, good friends, and I celebrated with a Sam Adams beer and a nice t-bone steak!


KcandyP said...

No need for dissappointment it's a pretty tough race! Hopefully next year we can go back and do the 10 miler.

Doesn't a good beer taste great after a race?

KcandyP said...

Thanks for the encouragement on my blog. It's tough "starting over" but this knee injury has had me out off and on for over a year now. It's time to get it taken care of once and for all so I am really trying to be patient. And hopefully be feeling good for El Scorcho. Thanks again.