McKay Hollow Madness 25K - 3/24/2012
I went with my friend Dave Truitt who had got me into this race back in 2009. The course was wet and slick as usual, but this year I had my Inov8 Roclite 295s and they have not disappointed me. We started together but I eased ahead on the roads. Larry Dickerson and Dave ran together and passed me on the first downhill descent. The descents are my undoing and the weakest part of my game. I thought I would probably not see either of them until the end of the race.
I tried to run the downhills better this year but it is not my strength. I am better running uphill and that is what I did. I ran the downhills to survive and tried to run the uphill sections stronger then in years past. I could pass people going uphill and yielded right of way on the downhills. The shoes dealt with the mud and rocks very well and I have no complaints with them. I ran alone a lot of the time but sometimes I would run with a group as they passed me. After the last aid station I passed a group and got in the lead position about the time the trail left a fire road and went downhill. It was kind of awkward to yield after I had just passed them so I stayed in front and ran downhill as fast as I could. Having runners behind me really pushed my technical skills and it was exhilarating. It was a rather long rambling downhill. I did ask if they wanted to pass and they were not interested. So I was stuck in the front on this long rambling downhill. I would run with this group for most of the rest of the race until I finished ahead of most of them.
After the trail leveled out I noticed a familiar figure ahead. It was Dave Truitt and he looked finished. He had gotten some cramps and was walking. It was several miles from the finish and as I passed him I acknowledged him. He mentioned cramps and one of the group offered him some S-caps. So as I ran now I was thinking I had Dave beat, but did I. He looked finish and I was rolling. I kept running and one by one I lost most of the group. As I got closer to Death Trail the 600 foot ascent I heard a familiar voice behind me. I was not sure but it sounded like Dave. By the time I started up the ascent I saw him about a hundred yards back. I was not about to let him pass me. He had been finished and now he was back and had gained a lot of ground on me.
I ran that ascent like I was being chased with a gun. I passed people who had passed me on the trail and I kept pushing it up the hill. Dave was actually driving me up that hill. It was a very good thing because I would of settle for a slower pace and not gotten close to a sub 3 hour finish. The hill was my ally and Dave could not keep up his pace. I really was impressed with Dave and his comeback. It really helped motivate me on the final ascent.
I hoped to break 3 hours and missed it by 26 seconds and in 52nd place. My average pace was 11:39 and it was an improvement over 2009's 11:51 and 2010's 12:00. I will take an improvement in pace any day, but I really need to get better on the downhills.
McKay Hollow Madness 25K Garmin Connect
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