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<span style="font-family:Century;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="color:#808000;"><br>
Monument, Colorado, January 12, 2008<br><br>
Weather: Sunny skies with a temperature of 14 degrees. Not too bad for the runners, but a bit cold for the volunteers. The trails were snow-packed.<br><br>
Course: "Over the river and through the woods..." Well, there wasn't any<br>
rivers, but the course does go through the woods. The course is<br>
a loop course on a trail through the woods. "Rolling hills" is the<br>
phrase for the day on this course. 5K runners do one lap of the loop,<br>
and 10K runners get to do it a second time. Elevation is about 7000 feet.<br><br><b>Example of course conditions</b><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><b>This race is always challenging. The trail is almost never clear of snow and/or ice, and it has numerous fairly steep hills.</b><br><br><b>The 5K race starts 15 minutes before the 10K. The only significant downhill is right at the beginning on a snow packed road. There's about a half mile of fast running, then the course goes into the woods, onto a snow covered trail for the remainder of the race. I wore some "screw" shoes for help with traction. Many other people wore YaxTrax. Even with the extra help it was difficult to run fast because the snow was not packed down in many places. About 2 miles into the race I started passing the stragglers from the 5K. I got in with a small group of guys and we went back and forth with each other the rest of the race. I seemed to be better at going up, and they would catch me on the down. I kept ahead of all of them for a while, but on the very last down, two of them got by me.</b><br><br><b>I ended up with a time of 59:40. This was the first time I've ever gone under an hour on this course. Judging by the times of even the fast people, this course adds at least 10 minutes. I placed fairly well overall for me, and was 4th in my age group.</b><br><br><b>There are 3 more races in the series, one every other week. Each race gets progressively longer - 8 miles, 10 miles, 20K. The next two races are not hilly, but conditions can always be difficult depending on the weather.</b><br><br><b>I ended up with 59.8 miles for the week. I had to cut a couple of my runs short because the roads were either snowy/icy and/or slushy. If conditions improve this week I may try to get in a 16 miler.</b><br></span></span></span>
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