Ahhh the sweet smell of camping, I missed racing, this race will mark the beginning of my journey to the 100 miler next year at Rocky Raccoon.

Stopped by to say goodbye before we left

Snakes! saw this critter on a night hike before the race.

If you don’t care about the details and just like to see how I did, here’s the short version: I finished the race strong with an official 2:20:22 time. I felt strong for most of the race except around mile 13 where I had some stomach trouble. Got to the finish line and still had some gas left in the tank, so all things considered I’m happy with this race, as it is just a build up for an eventual 100 miler next February.

Here are some of details of how the race went and what I could have done better. Race took place at Rocky Hill Ranch, most of the course is flat, it has a good number of windy sections and lots of up and down hills. The race started with Joe’s usual: no bells, no whistles but down to earth race start count down and we were off!. Unfortunately we took our sweet time getting ready to get to the race start and wasn’t able to position myself such that I wouldn’t need to be passing a lot of people. By now I should know better but guess I still don’t. A large part of the 1st mile is single track, which meant due to my starting position I would have to be slowing down which turned out to be better in the end, because it meant that for the first time I didn’t start out too fast and ran out of gas.

The first part of the race I felt like I ran pretty consistent (although Garmin thinks otherwise). I was carrying my Nathan pack so there was no need to stop at aid station,s since I had with me everything I needed. As I mentioned before, the course has its share of flat windy trail with ups and downs in between. I got to mile 8 a little later than I expected, but I was still cruising and kept cruising for the most part until mile 13, when I had some stomach problems. After the 2nd aid station, “Bottle in front of me”, I was passed by a guy wearing the Hell’s Hills shirt and we kept at it for about 4 miles (we went back and forth to a point that he asked if I wanted around and I declined, I knew better 🙂 ),  when he ended up shaking me off and going about his business. He later was the only person that passed me and finished in front of me, woot!

I only had two issues during the race: one is still lingering (feels like tendonitis on the top of my left foot), second was stomach issues towards the end of the race and around mile 13. The first issue, after a few online searches, suggested I might have tightened my shoe laces too hard and can sometimes lead to tendonitis, it definitely feels like it; so will get it checked out and see where we go from there.  Next race is on May 13 so I just need to rest a bit and take it a step a time. with respect to the second issue, I am still trying to settle down on eating healthier so that I think will get better with time.

All in all, I had a good race, finished 25th overall with a decent time and I’m looking forward to my next race, The LOOP (part 2 of the Rogue Trail Series), which will have more hills and its a 3 loop, 10k course.

As always, thanks to my beautiful wife and family. Also, congrats to my friend and trail buddy Luis on his first trail race 🙂 Here’s some footage of the race start and race course, I hope you enjoy it.

Note: it is best watched in 720p HD 🙂