Today was a brilliant first day of Spring on which to have a trail race. The temps at race start were in the low 50s and warmed quickly as the sun came out. The sky was perfectly blue too!
My pre-race routine went very well. I actually got to sleep and logged about seven hours of z's prior to the race. This is a highly unusual set of circumstances. Made it out to Hemlock Overlook early with enough time for a solid warm-up as well. My usual warm-up consists of some stretching, coffee, a slow 15 minutes run (when racing at or around 10km), water, and then a bathroom stop.
The race start was fast because as always the Ex2Adventures' courses have a prologue that does not count for the race distance, today it was 7/10 a mile! The key to the prologue is to get people a little strung out before the single track. I was in the initial dozen people or so off the front and make the prologue, including a wet part across a dam and a short steep climb in good style.
The course then headed down a dirt road before turning back onto single track that began down in a draw and then wound its way down to the river. The river sections on this course are great. Literally boulder hopping just by the water with some flats to make up the lost time. At about the two mile mark the course climbed up away from the river. This first climb is long and steep. It broke my speed and the photographer got some very unflattering shots of me I believe.
Then the course runs back past the start area over a small hill and down to the river. Proving Newtons law a rather long climb awaited me after another short fast riverside section. This was a challenge today but I ran strong through the hill. After the long hill you cross a few meadows and run along some single track that wraps around a small hill before it dumps you into a fireroad about 200m from the finish.
I was neck and neck at this point in a dead sprint with another race for first place. We were both sprinting hard to the finish....but he got me at the last stride to take first place. I cannot complain, I raced well and ran strong for a second place finish in 40:31. A long extra second on my time!