[Race] Peach Belt Conference 5k Trail Run

When my alarm goes off on Saturday, it means one of two things; either its race day or I have to work.  Either way, I question why I’m doing whatever it is that’s causing my early rise on Me Day.  Luckily, it is race day and I had a group to do it with.

My good friend Bill S drove the four hours to come visit and decided to be a same-day registration for the race.  Alex B, from my school, came out as promised despite a nagging foot injury.  Finally, DJ O decided to do the impromptu 5k and rolled in with Alex B.  Jen reluctantly sat this race out due to a knee injury that showed its ugly face again this week.  She came out to be our paparazzi and cheerleader. 

When we got out there, it was a brisk 45*.  I planned a little, having some athletic pants and my awesome Brooks running jacket (review to come).  Despite my setup, I was still a bit chilly and sat in the car with my wife and Bill.  

The race organization was very friendly and utilized a local cross country trail as the loop.  A tail gate tent was raised with Powerade, fruit, and some good looking bagels and coffee cake for the post run festivities.  We ran in conjunction with the local county soccer tournament, so kids of all ages were using the fields around us.  Our entry fees were donated to county sports.  

At the start....

The course itself was easily my favorite trail I’ve run yet.  I thoroughly enjoyed the elevation changes.  Seldomly were we running on level terrain, with two long uphills raising the suck-factor.  There are some decent gravel patches that I felt in my beat up Trail Gloves, but as Alex put it, “It is just a deep tissue massage”.  Well stated.

[Result]

  • Time: 22:16
  • 1st Place Age Group (20-29)
  • 1st Place Overall
  • DJ and Alex rounded out the Top 3 Overall, respectively

The finishing group

    [Pro]:

    • Well organized
    • Very friendly staff
    • Awesome course
    • Provided photo backdrop

    [Cons]:

    • Late start (~3mins)
    • Nothing for 2nd or 3rd Overall

    Winning

      It was a great race with great company.  I’m really excited that Jen could be there for my first win, small race or not.  Means a lot.  

      I need to interject something into here.  Crossfit Endurance is what killed my old personal record (PR).  I’ve run two 5ks on pavement before and was in the 24s.  These trail hills are a new level of suck for me because I’d never been trying to run as fast as possible on my casual trail runs.  However, all the strength and conditioning work combined with the interval endurance workouts provided the necessary preparation to go all-out for 3.1mi.  On the long uphills I was forced to slow a bit, however, I was able to muscle through and my heart rate recovered much faster post-crest.  

      So, shout out to my buddy Matt D for turning me to this regimen.  Hopefully I’ll be just as prepared come Ironman time.