Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christine's Crusade Trail Race

Today I drove up to Dover, NH to run in the 1st Annual Christine's Crusade Trail Race (website) / (results) at the Portsmouth Christian Academy.

As the website states, the race benefits Christine (Gross) Skidds and her family. She is bravely fighting a brain tumor and all of the proceeds went directly to her organization, Christine's Crusade. Obviously a good cause, and a great fit for me...As I am flying out to San Jose tomorrow for the week, I had to squeak in a race on Saturday (hence missing Mill Cities tomorrow). This was appealing to me because it was billed as a 'trail' race and it was in Dover, which is another NH town I can cross off the list :)...

First and foremost, it was COLD this morning...They had a fire pit going at the start/finish for the volunteers and runners to huddle around. The race was put on by the 3C boys and Acidotic Racing. As I panned over the course, trying to figure out where it goes, I was pleasantly surprised that I was considering this more of a XC race than the Andover 6k and it really was more of an XC race than a 'trail' race, which I gladly welcomed.... Chris Dunn met me about 10 minutes in and ran over the course with me (which was 2 loops around the campus...mainly fields, a small trail section, and a very small stretch on the road through campus)... Chris gave me some pointers on the upcoming snowshoe racing I'll be doing as part of the Granite State Snowshoe series and the Dion series out west.

As the race went out, it was immediately evident that it was a 3 man race up front... Me, NE racing stud Bob Winn (now 50 and still bangin') and PR's Tim Cox (who's still battling back from injuries)... The course was run over fields that hadn't been mowed in a while, then had been packed down a bit and frozen...it made it VERY very bumpy. I was thanking god I took my spikes out before the race...that would have been absolutely horrendous, had I left them in. The larger field had a few patches of ice where water had pooled up, and there were a few small gully crossings you had to jump over, and one part where you had to go over a single track foot bridge. The trail sections were not that long, but the ground was crunchy and pretty muddy over the second loop. It was just a very slow course given the conditions....I took a couple of small wrong turns that didn't really affect my race too much...a couple seconds at most...Bob was right there each time to set me straight. Towards the end of the race, I started to realize that either the footing was making the race WAY slower that I thought, or the course was long.... It was billed as a 5k, but as I finished, we soon realized it was actually closer to 3.5 (3.47 or something like that)... They called it 3.4 (which a few people w/ GPS' had). I was very happy to hear that and really did have a blast....it made for an interesting race for sure... No splits, but I ran 18:38 for 3.4 (5:29 pace)... For this course, with the footing the way it was, I'll take it! I won a free pair of Teva trail running shoes, and a pair of socks in the raffle... They also gave everyone a cool t-shirt and Teva tote bag... Not a bad score for $20. If they have this again next year or another race for Christine, I'll be there...

I also met Steve Wolfe for the first time (in person) today...Steve was there doing a last minute workout before running his 2.5 leg of the Mill Cities Relay tomorrow. His son Alec took a lot of great photos of the race (including the 3 of me in this post)... They can be seen HERE. Much thanks to those guys for getting the visual evidence while I let the lovely and talented Kristin get her shuteye back down at the homestead...

I cooled down and talked with Bob Winn (Maine), for the first time, which was very cool. Not to get into it too much, but if you are interested, Google him sometime and take a look at some of his results from back in the day... He used to battle it out w/ the best of them... The CMS boys, Fram, etc. He just turned 50 and is still banging out great races... He is running Club Nationals (XC) next weekend (a race he's won a few times in the past)... He told me he took a down period of about 4 years and is now just running for fun (unattached) and not doing too much mileage....but he's still racing pretty damn fast... Best of luck to him this coming weekend in the Masters race.

On the way home from the race, I stopped in at Runner's Alley in Portsmouth ('New Hampshire's Only Running-Only store')....to pickup the Seacoast Series jackets that just came in (today was the first day to pick them up). I must say, they are pretty sweet. I also got a pair of Runner's Alley gloves for competing in all the races in the series. I know this is blasphemy and goes against what I've been talking about, but I may do all the Seacoast series races again next year and skip a couple of the mountain series races that conflict...I just can't get over having to miss Market Square Day 10K and the Redhook 5k for Northfield and Pack Monadnock.... We'll see. I may have a change of heart through the winter.... For now, check out the jacket in the image below.... It's a little heavier than the USATF-NE jacket, so it will be a little better for winter usage...

Now I'm packing up for my week out at the Adobe Sales Conference in San Jose...I hope to get some decent running in, but as we all know, sometimes these weeks away for work are not particularly conducive to any serious running....If I'm lucky, I'll squeak in a good run tomorrow and some junk mileage this week...enough to keep from completely falling out of shape anyways.

I'll shoot for a midweek entry or two if I have anything whatsoever of interest to write about.

1 comment:

  1. you're an animal! I can't believe you're still running so well!

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