Monday, June 9, 2008

A Nice Training Run at the Auburn Trail 50K

At the Start With Fellow Speedgoat Kelly Ridgway

The day before I left, Michael Kanning summarized my run as "Heading out for a jog at the Auburn Trail 50K to train for his TRT165 this August" and that is exactly what I did while Michael was running the San Diego 100-Miler. Note: I will post my complete TRT165 itinerary very soon.
The Cool Fire Station (Race Start and Finish)
The course started at the Cool Fire Station and was a combination of the 9-mile Olmstead loop and a trail that went from Cool to No Hands Bridge and back on the Western States trail. The complete course would be repeated twice after a seven-mile mini loop on the Olmstead trail.
I was shooting for a consistent 10-minute mile average pace, but not having run this course before, I just wanted to focus on running a sustainable and consistent pace the entire way and that worked out really well. The course was a little long (32+ miles) and there was one tough hill, nicknamed K2, which forced everyone to walk.
With Frank Plucker
I gave my friend Frank Plucker a ride to the start and saw many familiar faces there. I met up with fellow speedgoat Kelly Ridgway, who would finish as the second-place female (8th overall). I also met Gretchen, who is preparing for TRT100 and a very fit-looking Sean Lang. Austin Violette had also decided to come out for this run. Many were treating this as their final Western States training run, including Alan and Beverly Abbs.
I decided to hold back a bit in the beginning and tried to stay in about 8th to 10th place for the first 15 miles or so. The first loop was nice and cool and we completed the first seven miles in about an hour.
I paced for several miles with Bev Anderson Abbs, who was running fast despite having a pain in her knee. She had brought a set of trekking poles to ease the pain on the downhills. Incredibly, she finished in third place overall and won the women's race in 5:03. My 5:10 (6th overall) finishing time will probably be the closest I'll ever finish behind Bev :)
Gretchen and Kelly Discuss TRT Before the Start
The ascent of K2 forced almost all the runners to walk, but Sean Lang bounded up the hill like a Gazelle and was out of sight after a few minutes, never to be seen again. Imagine my surprise to see him finish 20 minutes behind me! It turned out he rolled his ankle on one of the steep downhill sections and I must have passed him somewhere without noticing.

Sean "K2" Lang--Ready to Go

During the second loop, it really started heating up. I caught golden-glove boxer Ray Sanchez (training for the Badwater 135) with 9 miles to go, but he pulled away from me again on the second K2 ascent and hung on to his lead until the finish.

Running on the Olmstead loop brought back lots of memories from last year' 12 Hours at Cool Night Run and I must say, I'd rather run this loop at night than in the 90-degree heat.

Robert and Linda had cooked another excellent post-race meal, but I could not stay too long, because I had to rush back to see Sean and Rocky in concert (cello and piano respectively) at a 3 p.m. concert. I made it back just in time and what a great concert it was! Sean played a solo piece and a piece with a trio, and Rocky played one of his own compositions for the first time along with two other pieces.

Many thanks to Robert and Linda Mathis for the excellent race, to Norm and Helen for running the half-way aid station and to all the other volunteers.

Next up: The Tahoe Relay, a fun run around my favorite lake with the Sean, Rocky, Hayes, Chris, Turi, and Amber a.k.a "Lubbers and the Melodious Colons."


Norma Bastidas said...

Congratulations Peter on an other fantastic performance, 5:10 6th overall and it was a training run! Unreal.


Catherine said...

Nice finish Peter. Sounds like you're right on course for your TRT challenge.


Gretchen said...

Great to see you, as usual! It definitely got a little warm out there, but otherwise was a great day. 50K is starting to feel like a pretty short race.
Maybe "minutes behind Bev" should be the ultrarunning standard...I made the same comparison(I was 34 MBB) and had the same thought that I will probably never get closer than that! ;)

Baldwyn said...

Nice job! I wanted to run this race, but ended up camping in Yosemite. Thanks for the write up, and congrats on your strong finish!

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Way to run fast enough on a training run to make the recital.

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