Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Race Recap: Salem Lake 30k Trail Race

Every year Winston-Salem's Twin City Track Club puts on a notable 30k (as well as a 10k) trail race, which was held this past Saturday.  It's a mostly flat out-and-back course that consists mostly of hard-packed dirt, with some asphalt greenway thrown in at the midpoint.  It covers most of the perimeter of Salem Lake, hence the name.

DARTers Adam Mayes, Chris Jones, and Mike MacIntyre participated in the 30k this year, and kicked up some serious dirt.  They were kind enough to provide a race recap.

Adam:  "The weather was gloomy and there was a light rain during the entire race.  The course had a few wet areas that probably slowed us down a little.  It was my first time doing that race and first time running those trails.  I enjoyed it, although I wished that the weather would have been better.  I know that I started out too fast but I figured that I could hang on at the end.  Thats exactly what I did.  I started out running something like 6:20 a mile for the first few miles.  But then I backed it down close to the halfway point and started doing some 6:45 and 6:50 miles."

"Chris and I discussed the water stops.  We both agreed that the people working the water stops pretty much had no experience working a race before.  We even passed a group of workers walking to a water stop before they even had a chance to set it up.  So, we were just out of luck at that stop.  I have to agree with Chris that this is a great training race for a fall marathon."

Chris:  "It was a gray day at the lake on Saturday.  This is usually a beautiful place to run...and probably ranks among my favorite places to hit the trail.  About 10 years ago Runner's World actually ranked the Salem Lake trail among the Top 50 running trails in the US.  But on Saturday, everything was shut-in with fog and a dreary mist.  Fortunately the trail wasn't too bad as the drizzle had just started, and temps were cooler than they had been earlier in the week which was nice.  Nearly 1,000 runners turned out for the 30K or the 10K - so quite a crowd amassed in the unusually dark morning hours at the East Winston lake.

Personally, I was about 1 minute and 30 seconds off of last year's time.  Everything kinda fell into place last fall...and I had already run a low 1:18 half up in Pittsburgh prior to Salem Lake last year so I had a good gauge of what kind of shape I was in endurance-wise.  Felt OK through 14 or so and didn't have much left after that.  I think my half-marathon split was 1:20:30 or so; the last 5.5 wasn't too pretty.  

Advice to Davidson Area runners attempting the race in the future - bring two gels for the 30K due to somewhat limited water stops / opportunities to refuel."

Did I mention that Adam and Chris kicked dust?  Chris nabbed fourth overall and first in his age group with a time of 01:56:03 while Adam took 12th overall and second in his age group with a time of 02:03:47.  Way to go!

While Mike had a good time at the Salem Lake 30k, he experienced some duress prior to the race, which fortunately didn't keep him from going the distance and then some, as you'll read in his recap:

Mike:  "Started the Salem Lake 30k Trail Run 2 hours late (long story), but I finished 19.0 miles (another story) in 3:42:33 after walking 5 miles before starting (another story that is part of the 2 hours late story).  For the first 5 miles of the run, it was fun as I got to cheer on all of the runners on their way back to the finish.  After that I saw no one, but they did leave the Gatorade and mile markers up.  The good news is that I forced myself to do it even though it was just me, and the better thing is that they gave me a shirt and a number without paying since I got there so late.  The best news is that I now feel that I can complete a marathon after run/walking 24 miles. 

Yes there were some parts where I questioned my decision to start running in the first place, but once I got back on the trail around mile 12, it got much better.  Note to self: next year I will buy a set of trail shoes to protect my feet."

Dealing with adversity is the key to a successful race.  Mike cast off the negative, embraced the positive, and therefore not only finished the race but had a good experience.  Good job, Mike!

Have a race report you'd like to share?  Send it to the Davidson Area Running Team.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Mike! You started late but still finished before the cutoff....great courage!


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