Much delayed recap of the Valencia Trail Race. Ran this one with my brother Bob, and we stayed together for the race. It was a cloudless, sunny day and the temps were mid-upper 70’s.
First, the numbers: we finished in 9:24:29 – way over my 8 hours over/under guess. I was finisher #132 out of 158 runners, and 36 out of 40 in my age group.
Just to compare, the Winner was in 4:05, and he set the men’s record. The winning woman was at 4:41.
In writing those down, I almost felt disappointed – and then I remembered the fun we had, the things I learned, and the fact that I did a 50k! I hadn’t even run any farther than 18 miles before the race!
The race was organized well, the volunteers were enthusiastic, supportive, and some were even dressed up in costumes – it was Easter, after all. There were tons of water/snack stations. Because of the routing of the course, I think the longest distance between stations was under 5 miles. We didn’t need most of the food we carried with us – but we were really glad we had our own hydration packs! The heat got to everyone a bit – and it seemed *really* hot to me!
The plan going in was to run any flats and the downhills, and power walk/hike the uphills. we wanted to test the distance, our food and hydration strategies, and just flat out see if we could complete the distance.
I felt pretty strong running when we ran – and walking was great when we did that. The plan seemed to be working for the first half or so. I was a little caught off guard with the amount of inclines – there just didn’t seem to be many flat parts of the course.
Food intake testing was good – never felt like we needed anything we didn’t have. Water and hydration was good – but as the day went on and the heat went up, we found that we did go through our 2L packs. I think a 3L pack might be in the future for me. I seem to sweat a lot!
My quads got pretty sore from more running down hill than I’ve ever done before. After about mile 27 or so, the bottoms of my feet were starting to hurt almost as much as my quads. Unfortunately, it seemed like the last 4-5 miles were all straight downhill.
I do know that as we got closer to the finish line, we could hear some people coming up behind us and Bob and I sprinted to the line – we did not want to get passed that late in the race. Ego can be such a bitch….
I think that proved to us that we did have more in the tank and could have pushed a bit harder out there. Good to know for the future.
Overall – a blast of a race, a day and the whole weekend for me!