Monday, February 25, 2013

Cadron Trail Run 2013

Well I was back for a third year for the Cadron Trail run at Cadron Settlement Park just outside Conway.  The race is a 4.2 mile or so trail run using an outer loop within the Cadron Trail run.  Each loop is 2.1 or so.  I say or so, because it's a trail run and the distances don't always seem to correlate.  However, the previous two years the distance was around 4.1 miles.

As with every race, I am hoping for a PR!  The week leading up to the race was a normal training with no tapering before the race.  With the 15k the last weekend and now the trail run, my legs were sure to be screaming by the end. My times from 2010 and 2011 were 34:31 and 31:57 respectively. 

The morning started off cooler than expected.  The race didn't start till 10am, but the clouds stayed around and it was in the mid 30s.  It makes for great running weather, you just have to stay warm before the start.  Since, I've run this course numerous times, I knew the key was to stay in control the first lap and increase the pace on the second.  We all line up for the start at the entrance to the park and the gun goes off and 33 people are out running!  Video is below.

The key I've found to trail running is that even if you want to start off slower.  It can be good to get out front that way you are behind people that could be slower than you.  Most of the Cadron Trail run is on single track which can make it hard to pass.
Just starting out
After getting off the pavement, its time to go up hill for the first mile.  I was able to establish a good position and held my pace pretty well.  After the first mile, you head back downhill quickly into sections that go from flat, to uphill slightly, before finally heading into a section of fast rollers.  This final section before you start the second lap is hard on the legs.  You quickly go uphill followed by a quick downhill which we do 4 times before starting your second lap. 

By this time, I had two people in front on me and was going to make the pass before the second lap began.
Starting second lap/Two people to pass
I made the pass just before the uphill started, but by then my legs were really screaming.  I knew I was in for a tough second lap.  I was able to put some distance between the last two people I passed, but still could not see anyone in front of me.  The second lap was pretty lonely.  I was running as hard as I could, but still not able to see anyone.  My pace was also slowing as I headed towards the finish.  Finally, I was able to see someone, but I knew it was too late to catch them.  I ran quickly towards the finish and crossed line about 17 seconds behind. 

I was able to finish the race in 31:44 which ended up being a PR for this race.  I was a nice surprise!  I finished 7/33 OA and 2nd in my age group.  It was again a great run put on by DLT Events and will hopefully be back next year.

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