I intend to do as at least 6 races in the WMAC Grand TreeSeries this year and the next on my schedule was the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race. This race has been on my list for a bunch of years, it just has never worked into the schedule. Before the race, I looked up some old blog reports and looked at Strava data from last year’s event. The course ended up being changed again this year, which made it over a mile longer than the previous year which was longer than past years. So, I was looking for around 13.5 miles on the watch and I got just a bit more, which extended the time on the trail just a bit.
The race itself…it started out with Tim Van Orden, Kurt Hackler, myself and some younger dude. We ran briskly on the downhill dirt road in the first half mile or so and then got on the single track, before even the mile the young dude was making moves for position, it was clear he was probably going to have a long day on the trails.
The pace on the single rack felt a bit too brisk for me and I stopped paying attention to the 3 ahead of me and from there on ran my own race.
By 4 miles, I had gone up the “Wall of Sand” that you had to traverse on all fours and then “Killer Hill” at just after 3 miles which I slogged up at 21 min mile pace, just to get to the top and drop down on a slick technical downhill. Young dude took a tumble thee and I passed him on the next small up. The kid that ended up finishing second passed me shortly after that and I ran the last 10 or so miles alone.
The rest of the race had its ups and downs, terrain and energy levels. I felt like I was running as slow as one could possibly run in spots and I still never got passed.
The turning point in the race was coming out to a road crossing where two people were standing. They told me I was in 3rd (a surprised because I WAS in 4th, but Kurt went off course) they told me I had a downhill coming up…YAY! And they told me there was about a mile and a half to go! How much?! Oh boy…. After the downhill you popped out into a parking lot that we were previously in, so now things looked familiar. I knew we would get onto a dirt road and then there would be one last road climb to the finish. There was no quickness in my finishing speed. I simply just got through the last 5 mins of this race. I finished in 2:06:48 FULL RESULTS
|Photo: Scott Livingston|
After finished, I traded war stories and watched Ralph finish, I apologized for inviting him to the race. I drank 1 too many sodas, which really made my stomach unhappy and off to Willimantic Brewing Company for some food and beer.
I am happy I finally got to run this long standing race and it definitely kicked my ass. I was very sore for days.
I have a pretty busy June, from when I started this post like a week ago and now, I have decided to skip the next two races in the Grand Tree which I was going to do. So, next up will be Gaspee Days 5k on June 9th, Ribfest 5 Mile on June 17th, my birthday! Ribfest is the 3rd race in the USATF-NE Grand Prix Series. After that I will be running the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Boston for the first time. That is on June 21st.