Friday, November 28, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving Day, I joined hundreds of people for the 3rd annual Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot in Nevada City. My goal was to run my first-ever sub-40 10K (see previous post). With 1300' elevation gain as well as loss (per the Garmin, which may be a little on the high side) the course was far from a PR course. In previous years it had been a bit short, but this year they added extra out-and-back sections to make it a full 10K. (Fortunately, because I did not want to go all out only to realize I had run a sub-40 six-miler!)

This was the last race in the Gold Country Grand Prix series. I was in fourth place in the 30-39 AG, four points behind Mark Epperly. Since this was the biggest race in the entire Grand Prix (last year, there were over 1000 participants), I could still get enough points to sneak into third place, because only the first 5 finishers get extra points.

On top of the elevation gain, there were two more things to deal with, which would make this a tough course to PR on. A good portion of the race was run on single-track and double-track trails and it had rained the day before. It wasn't too slippery, but there were lots of wet leaves on the course.

Also, the 10K follows the 5K course and then makes an extra loop and finishes by joining the 5K course again. By the time the 10K joins the 5K course again there are tons of walkers that you have to zig-zag your way through. Some of them oblivious to the fact there is a race going on. On the single-track this can really slow you down.

Troy Finishes 3rd Overall, 4 Seconds Ahead of Zach Stoll

I went for a good, two-mile warmup. Not sure why, but my legs did not feel too springy and I started to get worried about breaking the magic 40-minute mark. I told myself that that's exactly why I was warming up and decided not to waste time worrying about it. Trust the training!

Zach Stoll Finishes Fourth Overall

The start was fast and furious. Everyone tried to get in a good position to avoid the single-track traffic jam and I settled in in about 10th place, right behind Larry Defeyer. Brandon Nied, Andrew Primrose, and Chris (last year's top-3 overall in the 5K) charged up the hills ahead. Chris was running the 5K today, because he was slowed down by a hip problem recently.

10K Winner Andrew Primrose (Left)

At the 5 and 10K split, most people ahead of me turned left onto the track to finish the 5K. As it turned out, Andrew Primrose was running the 10K, but by the time I hit the split, he was already out of sight, so I was not sure if I was in first or second place overall. I decided not to waste any time asking the course volunteers--just keep running!

Neel and Daffodil Run RD Joan Bumpus at the Finish

On several of the out-and-back sections, I could see I had a fairly comfortable lead on Zach and Troy, so I just kept pushing forward, trying to speed up on the flats and the downhills. On the final downhill, while zig-zagging through the walking crowd at high speed, In my quest to "shave" a few more seconds off the downhill time, I almost ran over my hairdresser, Julie from the Mane Event hair salon and rolfing magician Kona from Rolfing in the Sierras--not a great idea to take out those key members of the race support team!

Larry Defeyter , Me, and Some Crazy-Looking Guy Who Won This Year's Grand Prix's 30-39 AG

I hit the final uphill that leads to the track at 38:51. The race finishes with a about 200 meters on the track and I felt I had the sub-40 locked up, but just kept running as fast as I could. I finished in 39:51, second overall and first in my AG--mission accomplished!

Robert and Callan Warner after Callan's first 10K--great job!

We hung out at the finish for a while. Unlike the previous Grand Prix run, awards were handed to all top-three age group winners and I even received a delicious pumpkin pie for finishing in the top-three overall!

Chris, trying to keep Hannah off the Football Field

The results are not in yet, but with an extra 10 points and Chris and Larry finishing first and second in the 30-39 AG respectively, I think I have 3rd place in the GP locked up as well (Thanks guys!). Chris won the Gold Country Grand Prix 30-39 AG and Larry finished second. I believe Chris came in second overall in the Grand Prix (congrats, Chris!)

Troy Takes Home Some Hardware

Thanks to all the volunteers for making this such a succesful run in only the third annual running. It was a nice season finale. It would be interesting to see what the 39:51 would translate to on a fast and flat course, but I don't want to go too far out of my way to try it, so I think I'll wait for the (local) Daffodil Run next year to try it again.

Troy and I Enjoy a Well-Deserved Snack and "Hemp-Milk Latte" at the Broad Street Cafe

Next up: Well, that's basically it for this year in terms of racing. I am going to Europe for work next week and if there is a fun run somewhere I'll run it, but the next race goal is a sub-3 hour marathon in Redding on January 18th. I'll write another post about my other 2009 plans soon, but a fast Jed Smith 50M (you better get out of bed to start training, Michael Kanning!), a sub-19 hour Super Triple (Yes, Jon, you read that correctly!) and a very interesting mega-ultra are on the list, so stay tuned!


Turi said...

Congrats on the finish and hitting the goal, Peter. Can't wait to hear about next year's mega-ultra plans...

Catherine said...

Great job Peter. Looks like a great day of racing. Looking forward to hearing more details of your 2009 plans. Now it's time for some well deserved rest. You've had quite a 2008 season.

Will said...

good work peter, you are a man of all distances! 2nd overall AND knocking down a 40 on that course is great! congrats.

SnowLeopard said...

Peter, you are amazing! Congrats on your PR~ looking forward to reading about your exciting upcoming races. :) Great pictures too!

Paleo Runner said...

Congrats Peter, well done!

kelly said...

Great job, Peter. What a great time! Doesn't it feel good to accomplish a goal? You rocked out there. Rest up so you can be ready for 2009.

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

congratulations! You did it! And in sub-ideal conditions no less. Enjoy that pie!

Scott Dunlap said...

Well done! Sub-40 in style.


slowrunner77 said...

man...the pictures of breakfast always look great! Oh yeah, great job on the 10k pr too! Imagine what's possible on a faster course. sub 6:00 pace? only a couple more minutes (37:12)!

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