I got to the race area about an hour early and would’ve been there earlier had I not gotten lost because I was DWA (Driving While Asian). It was a chilly morning – about 42 degrees, and fellow runners have already started to warm up. The field was small and found out later that 85 runners completed the race.
According to the organizers, the course ran longer than 5k at 3.25 miles. As a warm-up, I ran the first mile of the course to familiarize myself on my first trail run. The first mile was tight single track with tons of hairpin turns and moderate climbs/drops.
About 15 minutes later it was race time. We all lined up at the start and before you know it, we’re off!
The goal was to position myself well in the first mile since passing on tight single track would be very difficult. I positioned myself to be in the top 10 for the first mile and tried to keep up as best as possible. I went out too fast but stopping wasn’t an option else I wanted to be run over by the stampede behind me. I felt somewhat comfortable in the first mile.
Went through mile 1 in 7:11/mile , avg HR – 175.
More tight single track with chipped wood roads. The trail was wider and passing was possible – except I didn’t pass anyone. My efforts on the first mile caught up to me and courteously allowed the faster runners pass. The breathing in the pack grew louder and stronger and was evident that I wasn’t the only one suffering. Slowed down to maintain a steady pace.
Went through mile 2 in 8:30/mile, avg HR – 179.
Stuck behind a pack of three runners and the only goal at this point was to have them pace me. This was the hardest point in the race as everything was telling me to stop but I continued knowing the finish was near. Another female runner came up to join us and we all did our best to get through mile 3 as fast as possible.
Went through mile 3 in 7:52/mile, avg HR – 183
With less than 400 meters to go I went with everything I had to at least finish first in the pack which I did. I nearly collapsed at the finish and my heart rate reached 195 at this effort.
The official finishing time was 23:47. Came in 26th/85 overall and 3rd in my age group (25-29)!