Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tortoise & Hare Trail Race

He is LOVING his Mum's socks!
Saturday, Thing 1 & I ran the Tortoise & Hare trail race in Ithaca, NY. He was good enough to come with me since my trail buddy turned her ankle on our previous trail run and was resting this weekend and I really wanted to go to practice following trail markers in a race as it is only a month to Finger Lakes Fifties.  He wasn't thrilled about getting up so early on a Saturday, but good kid that he is, did anyway.  In case you don't know Ithaca, it is known for its' deep & steep gorges, which are the focal area of several local state parks. It is absolutely beautiful here & Thing 2 & I go hiking here every summer. But never have I considered running the gorges until I hopped on the crazy train which is trail running! This race is up Buttermilk Falls and is the hardest race we have both ever done. It was just over 10K....6.5 miles actually.  We got up early to get there on time as it is about 45 minutes from home.

SD & Thing 1 LOVED my outfit...especially the socks & gaiter combo ;-D

It is a whole different atmosphere at a trail race...especially a trail race that cost me a grand total of $7.50 to register us both!  Very down to earth and low key.  But at the same time, well organized.  The trail was well marked and fairly easy to follow, and there were 2 water/gatorade stations on the course (1 of which you hit twice so had access to fluid 3 times). Good deal!

The bottom of Buttermilk Falls
We started out with a flat one mile loop around Larch Meadow.  The main pack bottlenecked a bit at the entrance of the single track so I had to stop and wait a few seconds for my turn to enter the trail.  This section was pretty muddy and you were pretty much stuck in the order you entered.  I was not too bothered as I knew the hard part was to come.  I did think of Thing 1 though and hoped that he was far ahead enough to get on the track early because he would NOT like to be stuck behind someone going slower than he wanted to.  Luckily, I found out afterwards, he was well entrenched in the top 10.  After this loop we crossed the parking lot and started the long hard slog up the left side of the falls.  It was steep. Holy moly, it was steep! Every time I thought it was going to end, it didn' just kept going and going and going....for almost a mile! Pretty much everyone around me hiked up the hill, hence my 15+ minute second mile.  Actually, I was pretty pleased with that since it was so hard.  Once we finally reached the top of the big climb there was a water station.  I was grateful!  We crossed the bridge to the other side of the falls and entered rolling single track.  It was really, really rooty and rocky with lots of climbs and dips.  I started to pass a few people here.  At about mile 3 we started to see the leaders coming back on the course.  I was thrilled to see that Thing 1 was in 6th place at this point.  He had 2 women on his heels so I was curious to see if he'd get chicked in the end.  He laughed & thanked me for talking him into this 'little' trail race...and then he flew by!

One of the hiking trails
I really enjoyed the single track and I felt strong on it.  We wound through the Bear trail and then looped around Treman Lake at the top.  It was great fun!  After the loop around the lake we were back on the Bear trail and heading back toward the big hill to the end of the race.  Flying down that hill was the most scared I have ever been in a race.  I was going so felt fast to me at least...and all I could hear was the sound of someone else bearing down on me.  I couldn't look back because I knew I'd fall if I took my eyes off the ground and I couldn't really slow down much because it sounded like this runner was right on top of me and I thought if I stopped he/she might just plow right into me.  It was an absolutely terrifying descent.  And the competitor in me didn't really want to let this person by me.  I'm happy to report that I not only survived that harrowing descent but whomever was behind me did not pass me!  I flew into the finish with a time of 1:18:33!!!!  Not only was I NOT LAST....but I ran a respectable time on a very hard course!  86/128 runners! Woo Hoo!

And get this...Thing 1 not only did NOT get chicked, but he finished 4th OVERALL with a time of 50:59!!! (He is a little horrified at the 'slow' pace but also told me it was the hardest, steepest and most technical race he has ever run).  Anyway, I am very proud of him!!!!

Post-race Moe's burrito devoured in record time!

Doesn't look too bad now, but conditions rapidly deteriorated
Coming in on the bike
Entering the finish shute
In other news, I spent sunday having the time of my life as a spectator & cheering section for SD in his first Olympic distance triathlon of the season! It was horrific conditions & he still PR'd at the Keuka Lake Tri. We had to get up at 4:45am to get there in time....ugh.  SD was in the second wave and the swim was brutal.  It was crazy windy and the water was so choppy that there were people crying as they came out of the water. Still, he was out of the water in 29 minutes, which was incredible!  It was raining through the bike and the hills were pretty big so the road was crazy slick.  He ended up having to take some of it slow just to be safe. While he was out on the bike I got to see a bunch of my Ragnar girls start the Duathlon, which was pretty cool!  Once off the bike, he started the 10K run.  He absolutely SMOKED it with a 42 minute 10K! I think he is going to be ready for the Half-Iron in June!!!!! 2:42:34 total time!

Plus, I got to see Jamie from Couch to Ironwoman racing!  Congrats to you too!!!!

A great, though exhausting, weekend! Can't wait to do it all again ;)


Rachelle Q said...

What a great weekend! I seriously need to enter a trail run. All these recaps are fun to read! Fun that you got to see Jamie!

Suz and Allan said...

Wow, congrats to Thing 1 on a great race! SD had quite the impressive race too!

Jamie said...

Congratulations to you and your son on a great race!! Your husband did amazing too!

I wish we could have met up, but thank you so much for the photo.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Congratulations to everyone!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

What a great time on the tough rocky, root-filled race!

Ransick said...

Love the socks! Doesn't look like your son was too embarrassed :-). You sure have some fast children!