Race Report: Waterton Canyon 10 mile (RMRR Trophy Series)
I got creative with my Saturday morning schedule and ended up with a good day of training. I had to drop my son off at his high school at 6am to catch the bus for a cross country meet. I left my car parked at the school and started running towards home. I knew there was a race going on today at Waterton Canyon near where I live and wanted to see if I could make it there in time to register. It was pitch dark, so I had to wait for things to lighten up enough for me to see. At about 6:30 I was on my way.
I ran easily and comfortably, taking about 2 hours to do the 12 miles to Waterton. I got signed up for the race and walked around while I waited for the start. I got some strange looks as I mingled with the group of road runners wearing my big hydration pack. Little did they know I was only at the mid-point of my day’s training.
The race was a ‘predict’ event. Runners are given a handicap based on previous races, and the start times are derived using some sort of formula. At ‘zero’ hour, the slowest runners (or those coming off injuries, or just looking for a casual run) took off. At regular intervals after that, incremtally faster runners would start – the fastest runners started last. In theory, this creates a situation where everyone finishes more or less together. You are constantly gradually passing people, or getting passed yourself. It’s good training because it gives you a chance to try and hang with someone who is just a little bit faster than you are – rather than trying to survive when someone flies by you.
Never having done a race like this, I didn’t have an established handicap. They allowed me to select the pace I wanted to run and start at the appointed time. I chose a 9 minute pace based on my desire for just a good steady training run. It was strange taking the start with just one other guy. He pulled ahead fairly quickly, and I settled into a comfortable pace. Keeping my heart rate in the 140s.
My first couple of splits were fast, so I slowed it down a notch and was a little over for the next few. I spent a few minutes running with Kerry and his pacer. Kerry is blind and was tethered to his guide and doing quite well. I was impressed with his steadiness on the uneven dirt/gravel surface.
Once I hit the turnaround, I took advantage of the nice tailwind and gradual downhill to speed up a bit. I targeted 155 for my heart rate and was at a good cruising speed. I ran the final mile in 6:40 to finish off the race in 1:25.
Then I caught my breath for about 30 seconds and continued my run home. 24 miles for the day.