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Discussion Starter #1
Friday night I ran into one of the local hashers at the NCAA Western Reg. track meet, and he told me about a 12 mile trail race on Memorial Day. I was planning on running 12 to 15 today and it was only $19 with a cool shirt, so I signed up.<br><br>
Got up early this morning with a bad, painful, rumbly tummy. I was a bit concerned about bathroom issues, but I figured I'd head out and see how I felt at the start.<br><br>
We parked at the local community college at the finish area, picked up our packets, and then shuttled across town to the start.<br><br>
The Ridgeline trail is the main forested trail along the south hills of Eugene. Over the last 10 years there has been considerable effort by the city and outdoor groups to improve and lengthen the route. The race started at the western endpoint. The trail started at 941', rolled up and down for a couple of miles then steeply climbed to a peak of 1609'. After quickly dropping a few hundred feet over 1/3 mile or so we turned around and backtracked again to the peak. Back down to around 900' for a few miles of rollers, one more climb of 300' then down down down to the finish at 482'. The first 9 miles were a mix of improved gravel trail, beautiful forest trail and thrashed, rutted downhill singletrack. Then we popped out into a residential area for a short stretch of pavement followed by gravel road. The last mile or so was on pavement back to the finish.<br><br>
This was basically a training run for me, so I had no expectations going in. Those tummy issues lowered those expectations even further still. There was a pretty large turnout, much to the surprise of the organizers, so I need to pickup my race shirt later this week due to a shortage.<br><br>
When we started off we were on the climbing singletrack almost immediately. It was pretty weird running in a pace line for the first two miles or so with no real opportunity for passing. Luckily, the line I was at the tail end of was going at a pace that I found very comfortable. At the 1.8 mile mark we had our first road crossing, a good passing opportunity and a water station.<br><br>
Back into the woods we climbed on switchbacks towards the peak, watching for roots and the occasional step-ups. The trail was wider here and passes could be made with care. After 1.3 miles the trail became steep and technical. We started to see the leaders come back down the trail and passing was treacherous. After the peak we headed down the heavily used, rutted, rooty and rocky section of the trail that leads to the parking lot for Spencer's Butte, the highest butte in the area with magnificent views of Eugene and a popular climb. Some weekend hikers seemed taken aback by the couple of hundred runners on their trail! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> Another chance for water as we turned and headed back up at the 4.5 mi mark.<br><br>
As we climbed there were lots of familiar faces coming down and everyone was exchanging attaboys as they tried to avoid collisions and turned ankles. We peaked for the second time and started the steep descent back down. After a mile or so we turned East onto a wide smooth section of beautiful trail for .7 miles. We popped out onto another road crossing at the 6.1 mile mark and the relay teams made their exchange.<br><br>
The next section was on a wide rolling section of mountain bike trail that culminated in a tough little climbing switchback before dumping us onto another road crossing. More water here (aid station workers are the best!), and then we ran 1/2 mile down the road shoulder to the next trail head for the climb over Mt. Baldy (1233'). Tight, tight, single-track with hip-high grasses encroaching on the trail from either side as we switched up the mountain. Finally, at the peak we started another descent, this time on rugged, steep, wet and slippery rutted track. Very challenging stuff, and I was definitely worried about my ankles holding up through this part.<br><br>
At the 9.1 mile mark we popped out into an expensive residential neighborhood for .5 mile on the pavement before turning onto gravel for 1.3 miles of mostly fast downhill with a short steep uphill at the end at which point we turned onto pavement for the home stretch. We descended for the final time down onto the approach road to the comm. college. I was hoping that I could turn on the jets here, but my legs were tired and my energy level was too low. One last little patch of grass hill as we popped up onto the finishing stretch. Whew!<br><br>
I'm happy to say that I escaped with only one near-miss on the ankle-snappers, but my legs are pretty trashed. I finished in 1:45:57 for 6th/15 in my AG and 66th place overall. Oh yeah, it's a PR for 12 mile trail runs too.<br><br>
Tummy issues were manageable, <i>at least until I got home.</i>
 

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YEAH!!!!!!! $19 and a cool shirt! sweet! win-win situation <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> Glad your tummy held out for the race.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, yeah the PR is only because I've never ran one before. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> It was the inaugural running of this event, so I'll get a chance to run it again sometime.
 

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Well I hope you do run it again. Trail running is different, but it is definitely cool. I've taken a real liking to trail running, and what I've found is that the trail races are far less expensive. The Race Director for the Merrimack River 10 mile trail race told me that the biggest reason for that is they don't have to pay for police details on the road. When I did the trail race earlier this year, I had a 10 mile race, a tee-shirt, water stops, food at the finish, and a huge raffle at the end of the race. All for $12. You got something similar for $19.<br><br>
A comparable road race would probably have cost 30 to 40 dollars.<br><br>
Again, congrats to you, and keep it up!
 

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Sounds like a fun race, duckgeek! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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What fun! I was thinking 'Uh Oh' the whole time waiting for the rumbly tummy to hit. But no face plants, no urgent dash for the bushes, and a new shiny trail PR, hooray! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Butte to Butte 10k on July 4th.<br><br>
Maybe the Steep Hill Chase (get it? SteepleChase...) 5k in a couple of weeks, or possibly the Eugene Challenge Mile if I can get my butt out the door for some speed work.
 

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Sweet! Sounds like you did very well <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I'm impressed.<br><br>
Steep hills, good job!
 
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