Home in Sammamish for the week, I wanted to check out the 4-race trail running series at Cougar Mountain. The first event, a 5 mile trail run, was held this morning. The subsequent races get progressively longer with a 7.5 miler next month, a 10 miler in July, and a 13 miler in August. The longer and hillier distances would have suited me much better (I have done essentially no speed training in three years, not even a fartlek!), but despite taking a big step down in distance, I figured the 5 miler would still be fun. This series is very well organized by Seattle Running Company and local runners know this because around 300 runners turned out for this event (a large number for trail races).
The weather was unusually warm and it felt muggy in the forest at 9 am with temps well into the 70s. I started out fast to get good position before the singletrack. I felt ok, but a little off my game – my legs felt a bit tired and my stomach was turning for some reason. I saw Greg Crowther on the starting line and knew I would see him up front at some point. Sure enough, at about 1.5 miles into the run, just before the most significant hill on the course, he made a decisive move to the front and never relinquished the lead until the end. I didn’t react very well to his slightly faster pace up the hill and he slowly lengthened his lead to 40 seconds by the end of the race. Exiting the forest into the finish area, I felt like I was just starting to find my rhythm, but alas, the race was over! I finished second in 32:00 to Crowther’s 31:19. It was nice to chat with other runners in the finish area. I ended up doing a nice cool down and all the running in the morning added up to about 12 miles.
I have no trail races planned for at least a few weeks, and possibly all the way until late August or early fall. I had a pretty good spring of racing, with 7 races ranging from 5 miles to 50k, 6 of which were victories and this morning’s second place effort. Now it’s time to shift focus to the bar exam, but I hope to do an adventure run or two in the next couple weeks before it’s time to really clamp down on the studies.