Monday, February 20, 2012

Cadron Trail Run

On Saturday Feb. 18th, the Cadron Trail Run race took place at Cadron Settlement Park just outside Conway, AR.  This trail run is part of a series of trail runs run by DLT Events as part of the Arkansas Trail Run Series.  The series includes 4 races at distances between 3 and 4 miles.  It is meant to introduce people to trail running.  Most trail runs are usually at longer distances and DLT wanted to put on some shorter distance races to allow all people to be involved in trail running.  The series involves the following races below.

Cadron - Conway, AR - Feb. 18th
Spa City - Hot Springs - Mar 17th
Scout Trail Run - North Little Rock - Apr 7th
Degray Trail Run - Arkadelphia - Jun 24th

This was the second time I've run this race and the second year of this race.  The nice thing is that the start time for this race is 10am.  I woke up around 7:30 and ate some cereal and OJ for breakfast.  I headed out to Cadron on this cool and cloudy morning.  The weather was around 44F and the rain was just going to hold off for the race.  My goal for this race was to beat my time of 34:31. 

The course is a two lap 2.1 course around the trails of Cadron.  The Cadron Park has around 6 miles of total trails for MTB, running and walking.  The course is not flat!  The course starts off uphill before a slight flat and then going back up hill towards the pavillion.  The trail then dives back downhill before a short a short section of flat and winding trails.  The final section of trail heads back up hill before a series of small quick uphills and downhills.

We lined up at the entrance to the park and started the race.  I knew I wanted to get at least a little towards the front.  Last year, I was stuck behind a couple of slower people and took awhile to pass them after the first uphill.  I get through the first uphill feeling pretty good and head towards the second climb and start to feel it a little.  The quick downhill gets me going and work on moving up the field in the flats.  I pass a couple of people and settle in.  I don't see anyone in front of me for awhile now and have a couple of people a few second behind me.  I work through the quick up and down section and towards the second lap.  I see two people ahead of me heading back uphill and realize I'm about 30 seconds behind them.  I work myself back uphill and now my legs are starting to burn and the walking demon is talking in my head.  I say to myself to get to the pavillion because the downhill is after that.  I have someone about 10 seconds behind me and feel them getting closer as we head towards the pavillon.  Back downhill we go and at that point I put some distance between me and the guy behind me.  I keep the pace up though the flats, but not to hard knowing the up down section is coming.  I'm gaining on the two guys in front of me.  We then hit the flat section and I'm about 10 seconds behind one guy.  I try not to go to hard, but he adds some distance between me on the downhills.  I fall about behind and know that I'll probably not catch him as the finish approaches.  I see him in front and try to sprint as hard as possible to the finish but still finish 7 seconds behind.

I was really happy with this race.  Last year I ran it in 34:31 and this year I was able to finish in 31:57.  My goal was 32:00 and I just got under it!  The only thing I could have done better was to push myself a little harder towards the end, but I gave it all I could.  I ended up finishing 8th overall out of 32 people and 1st in my age group!  In terms of series points, I will be second in my age group because the 3rd OA was in my AG.  This is a good way to start the series.

The next race is the Spa City which I will be run.  Looking forward to it!  The pictures and video below were taken by Arkansas Outside.  Thanks for the pictures.

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