This past weekend, Kenny and I headed back to Harbison State Forest to try our hands at Rudolph’s Rampage Half-Marathon. I was looking for redemption after getting lost during the Hairy Bison 15k. Kenny was looking to complete her first trail half-marathon with her goal to “not walk”.
We arrived early with the intent of warming up. However the cold temperature kept us in the car until right before the start. Yes, I realize that it’s snowing in New England right now, but I swear that 40 degrees feels like it’s freezing. That’s what a year in Guyana will do to youJ
It was an interesting start to the race with 10k racers starting 2 minutes before us. In theory, you’d expect that they’d be running a bit faster but in reality, we still had to get through all the back of the back racers. In fact, when we took off, the first three miles or so were spent off/on trail getting around the herds. A group of three of us took the lead and starting making the passes. We actually ended up passing each and every 10k runner in those first three miles. At mile 4 or so, we dropped one runner so now it was down to two of us. At the half-way mark, I could still hear number 2 but not see him. By mile 7, I was running alone.
I settled into a comfortable pace and just ran enjoying myself while trying to keep the pace high enough not to get caught. Every once in a while, a mountain biker would come up on me and I’d panic thinking I was getting caught by a runner and I’d do a little pick-up only to see I was mistaken. The course was very well marked and despite my natural inclination to get lost, I did not. I finished with a time of 1:28:38 for first.
I grabbed a long sleeved shirt and headed back out on the trail to cheer on Kenny. Having never done a half-marathon on trails before, she had asked me what would be a good time for her. I took her 15k pace and figured that out for a half so I told her a 2:04. Not having a watch as I was running, I didn’t know what the elapsed time was as I ran back towards her. At mile 12, I came upon her looking strong and smiling brightly. Meanwhile, I was starting to bonk. I tried keeping up with her to run her in that last mile but I could not. Luckily, I knew a short cut and met her at the finish.
She managed to beat my expectations with an awesome 2:01:33 for a 5th place overall female finish. Based on how smoothly she was running, I am guessing she didn’t leave it all out there on the trails. Meanwhile, those two extra miles left me gassed.
I am running the Harbison 50k the first week in January and that “cool-down” was discouraging. I cannot imagine running another 17 miles. Oh boy, guess I better start up with some long runs.
In addition to eating my calories back in donuts, I got a free pair of sunglasses and a gift certificate for Fleet Feet for the win. I'd say it was worth the effort especially for such a fun race.
Until next time,