This is a race report and letter on the USATF Trail 10K Championships. My friend, Jason Bryant, is the race director and this race report is from "Mole," a friend from the Trailheads. I did not run this year, but I hope to return next year. The problem is getting in shape in time to race by late August. Maybe next year we will get a break in the heat! It's a great race if you enjoy mountain goat climbing. You might want to add it to your calendar.
You weren't exaggerating about the inclines on that course. Hill training would definitely be a big help to up the pace for that race. Both up and down! My quads are a little tight which hasn't happened in a while. Race was great though, amazing course and definitely a test of trail running skills. Plenty of technical, turns, off cambers. I decided on second hill (longest of the 4 majors) that I'd be better off to walk short stretches as I was so maxed out and I think that was a good decision in end. Of course, rock garden was using all 4's to make it up. Weather was super humid but not too hot and course fairly dry, just some slickness and black loamy earth from all the dense undergrowth on one side of the mountain.
Highlights were some of the blitzing downhill stretches, seeing the finish line and having at least a little juice to kick it in a little and passing a Kenyan on the final climb ( I had met him prior to the race and he trains in Fayetteville on flat road races!).
Didn't even bother watching heart rate as I knew I'd be maxed out for the entire race as I usually am. Averaged 171 with my max at 180 for the race. Finished in 17th overall, 3rd age group for USATF and 5th masters (with top 3 all out of staters--VT, MA, CO) with time 50:56. Was really pleased. Never so out of breath at end of a race. Was really well put on. Ran into guy named Coates Kennerly who said he knew you I think from ministry and you had been out few weeks ago visiting him. Had nice talk post race watching runners.
Hope Shut In training is going well. Would love to get some hill training in with you at some point. I was thinking of trying to do Oconeechee trails at some point as they sound like good hills.
Craig S. Heinly