Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mt Toby Trail Race

With my success at the Monroe Dunbar Trail Run, I set my sights on the Mt Toby Trail Run. Mt Toby is not nearly as technical, running over mostly fireroads and some easier single track, yet its still a good distance of 14 miles with about 2000ft or so elevation gain.
It was a chilly start, but the temps warmed up as trail ascended .  With relatively easy footing, i was able to push ahead at the start and position myself well before the climb. After 2 or 3 miles the climb to Mt Toby began. It was steep but not unbearable. I moved into a fast hike only once as pitch of the trail got real steep and my heart rate pushed 190 beats per minute.  Being a strong hill runner, I was able pass several runners on the way up but I knew there would be a good chance i would see them again on the descent.

The turn around point is the summit, touch the gate of the water tower , throw down a gu, and go! I usually don't like out and backs but i enjoyed seeing other runners coming up the hill and exchanging cheers of 'nice job' and ' your almost there'. The descent was fast. I let me legs pick up some acceleration and let gravity do its thing as the angle of fireroad descended steeper. I felt like a deer, galloping over rocks, picking the best lines, and feeling the cool air against my face. Sure enough though 2 runners that i passed on the uphill flew right by me. Impressive. Once again, i was burned on the descent.

I caught up to the two runners after the trail leveled off. For the last 4 miles the three of us hammered out the run, trading positions frequently. As the we exited the woods and onto a 1/2 mile pavement stretch before the finish, we pushed pace harded. One of the runners was left behind and myself and the other runner sprinted for the finish. I gave whatever i had left but he had more, beating me by about 10 seconds...he threw down one hell of a sprint.

I finished 16th overall. Not too bad since my intention was just to complete the race and have fun without competing. Well, i should have figured i couldn't put myself in a race without becoming a little competitive.

Mt Toby is a perfect race for any seasoned road runner to transition into a trail runner.If your interesed in giveing a trail race a try, this is a great one!

Ari,  Casey, Paul, Brian (Duff), Me