My mom Jeanne and I headed to Newark, Delaware for the 16th running of the Trail Dawgs’ 2013 Trail Triple Crown event, which included a marathon, half-marathon, 10k and 5k.
I was going for the marathon, and my mom would be doing her first trail event in the 5k race.
My goal for this race was to get in a nice long training run, as the race atmosphere would help me push myself. The timing was perfect for preparation for my upcoming races, including the Peaks 50 mile run in Pittsfield, VT on June 1st, and the Vermont 100 (my “A” race), starting from Ascutney, VT, which I’ll be doing on July 20th.
Upon arrival to the race, it was a little cold but we could feel the temperature warming quickly as the sun lifted higher into the sky. We got our race numbers from the helpful and friendly volunteers and organized our race day kits and plans.
The gun goes off.
My race plan? Run hard for 26.2 miles.
I started off with the lead group of about 10 guys, and we were cruising fast in those opening miles. I recognized within the first 5 miles this was not a sustainable pace for me, especially since I’m only a little over a month out from running the NJ Ultra Festival 100 miler (race report for that race can be found here.)
I worked into a rhythm that brought me to the halfway mark at 1:45. 13.1 miles completed, 13.1 miles to go.
The two-loop course was technical with log jumping, river crossings, hill climbing (total gain: 2,110 feet), descent bombing, grassy field crossing and lots of great people. Having done it once, I knew what I was in for the second time around.
As the race went on, the weather got warmer but I felt good pushing along hard on the flats, easy on the ups, and fast bombing the descents. I passed one guy right before the half way mark. Throughout the second loop, I caught up with another guy in a Trail Dawgs shirt, and we yo-yoed back and forth for a bit. But, he proved to be the stronger runner on this day, and held me off by a minute or so as we came into the finish.
I crossed the finish line in 3:37, as the sixth place overall finisher. This was a solid run, just 5 weeks after my first 100 miler. The event features great organizers, volunteers, and runners – all pulling together for a great cause, benefiting local homeless shelter programs.
My mom did very well on her first challenging trail 5k. As a 65 years young woman, she shows us that age is no limit to what you can achieve if you set your goal and go for it.
Thanks to the Trail Dawgs for a fun and well organized race! We’ve participated in quite a few of the Trail Dawgs events and they are a good time every time. See you next time!