Nice to hear from you Laura. I spent a lot of time with my parents watching the Olympics this summer.
Looks like you're getting your mileage back up KS.
Haven't heard from Heme for a while.
Here is my race report from this past weekend.
I had been eyeing the Helvetia (WV) 10k Mountain Run for a few years, but the 5.5 hour drive made it a difficult decision. I had also been trying to win a local race held the same weekend the last couple years that I had won over 30 years ago. After two second places to the same guy who has now won it 7 years in a row, I decided to give up for now.
I left Friday night and drove to Parkersburg I finished the drive to Helvetia Saturday morning and got there in time to see all of the festivities. That included some shops selling local goods, an interesting parade, and authentic Swiss dancing and singing on the main stage. After that I went to the race director’s farm where he opened it up to any runners who wanted to camp out and enjoy a great cookout. Around 5:30, he took another runner and I on a countryside run that included gravel and paved road, trails, and open farmland with some fantastic views of the countryside.
I made my way into Helvetia early Sunday morning and started warming up for the race. I have mostly been running half marathons lately so I needed to do a little more warm up for a faster start. It was soon 9 o’clock and time to begin. The first mile was on paved road and was a gradual downhill. After a half mile somebody made a comment about going for it. Heather Parks who had competed in the Olympic marathon trials in 2004 spoke up and said if a 41 year old mother of 3 was leading the race, she didn’t think anybody could be going for it! A short time later a young guy bolted to a 20 yard lead. Heather soon took off and caught him by the mile mark where we turned to run through a yard onto a trail. They had both pulled away from me but I was still in 3rd at 6:25. Soon after the mile, the eventual winner went by me to chase the other two. The trail led to the gravel Old Helvetia Road and it’s rolling hills which took us back toward the start line and the two mile mark. I got there in 13:32 running the slight uphill 2nd mile in 7:07. We turned right on the paved road, went by the start line and headed a half mile uphill before turning onto another gravel road for another half mile to get to the 3 mile mark. This mile gained 140 ft of elevation and I slowed a little to a 7:13 mile. I was in 4th place but probably 30 seconds back from the others. The fourth mile got a little steeper climbing 190 ft and was all on gravel road. I was surprised to see my time of 28:15 so I was running faster than expected. (The marker was probably .1 short) That is when the fun began. We turned onto more of a muddy, rocky double track and the elevation soon shot up to between 10-12%. At one point I looked at my watch and saw 31:30. Based on my 4 mile time, I estimated I should get to the top at 33 minutes so I started pushing harder. I had done some calculations before the race and was shooting for 34 minutes if the top of the climb was 4.5 miles. The climb kept going and going though and I had been gasping for air for a while but not to the point I had to walk any. (just barely) Half way up the climb I had spotted Heather and almost caught her. I finally got to the summit in 34:53. We took a right turn onto Zumbach Road and headed back to Helvetia. Heather pulled ahead a few seconds as I was trying to catch my breath and I got to the 5 mile mark at 38:17 for a 9:54 mile. At that point I thought about how hard I had been breathing running up hill and how easy I was now breathing. There are not many chances to run the last mile of a race straight down a mountain so I apologized to my knees and quads and took off at a sprint hoping to make it a half mile. I quickly passed Heather and before I knew it I was at the 6 mile marker in 5:19. I could see the finish as I got to Pickens Road, took left turn and sprinted to the finish in 44:40 for 3rd overall.