|Warming up at the 2012 Buffalo Run Trail 5K|
Buffalo Run Trail 5K
February 5, 2012
2nd Place Overall
1st Place 40-49 Age Group
Temp: 35 Degrees
Wind: 8 mph NE
Elevation Gain: 302 ft
Michael and I ran in our first ever trail race on Sunday at the 6th Annual Buffalo Run Trail 5K at the beautiful Parkville Nature Sanctuary in Parkville, MO. We had a great time, but it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be - so I definitely have a new respect for those folks who run trails all the time. I ended up placing 2nd overall, which was awesome - but honestly, it was a VERY small race of only about 225 people, so it's really nothing to beat my chest about. As I always say - anyone can win a race if the race is small enough - ha! Plus, as Ricky Bobby says "If you ain't first, you're last!" - so second place is really just the first loser!!!
(kidding of course!)
|Medal for 2nd Place Overall|
Michael and I gathered our race gear, and then it was time for the World Famous Pre-Race Dance Party!!! To be honest with you, Michael wasn't really feelin' this one - but I reminded her that you just can't stop the beat! So we took about 158 pictures, but finally got one that worked.
After that, we drove to Parkville, MO - which is about 40 minutes from our home in Lees Summit. Parkville is a beautiful little "touristy" town North of Kansas City on the banks of the Missouri River with a ton of bed-n-breakfasts and wineries. But most importantly, its the hometown of my Alma Mater, Park University (where I graduated Magna Cum Laude ... thank you very much!). So anytime I can get back to Parkville, I jump at the opportunity.
|World Famous Pre-Race Dance Party|
Michael and I had ran very few trail runs before, let alone a trail race. Heck, I just bought my first pair of trail shoes last year. And to date, I've probably only ran 10-15 trail in my life. As I was warming up on the trail, I immediately noticed that the footing was fairly slippery due to the all the rain and snow over the past couple of days. Also, there were a couple of little bridges over some small creeks, and they were completely frozen or frost covered - making them like running on roller skates. Plus, the course featured quite a few little winding switch-backs, forcing a change of direction back-and-forth, and never allowing you to build any real speed.
But by far the most difficult aspect of this course was the 200 ft climb over a half mile at mile two. It was literally like climbing 20 flights of stairs in the middle of a 5K - a straight up momentum stopper. That was the single most difficult part of the race. It slowed everyone's finishing times way down. The kid who won the race in front of me barely finished under 20 minutes, and he later told me his PR is 15 something. My 5K PR is 18:46, and I was almost 5 minutes off of that pace on Sunday. This was obviously not the world's toughest 5K - but it really tested everyone.
|2012 Buffalo Trail Run 5K Elevation (elevation is the red line)|
|Michael & me at the finish line|
I was following closely behind a 22 year old runner wearing soccer cleats for most of the first half of the race. He was pretty quick - but the cleats, combined with his high leg kick, were churning up gravel and mud that were peppering my face. I kept trying to get around him, but just didn't really have a good chance until about mile 2.3. At that point the course opened up briefly immediately before a steep, very rocky drop-off. I flew by him as he put on the brakes. I soon found out why he had slowed down. The next half mile was over a dried up creek bed of large rocks. It was VERY slick. And it was VERY steep. And my inexperience in running trails had me going waaaaay too fast - but fortunately I never crashed and burned - which would have hurt like a banshee!!! After the race I talked to the young runner, and also the guy who ended up finishing right behind me at 3rd overall. They both said, "Man, we thought you were gonna bite it on that decline - it was really steep, and you were flyin' down that thing!" I laughed and told them that my heart was beating out of my chest - I literally thought I was gonna fall, but never did. Michael even told me that when she ran it, she worried about me because she knew I wouldn't slow down. I was pretty lucky I guess!
|Me with my Second Place Medal!!!|
After the race I caught up with the guy that finished 3rd - he was really cool. He was still joking with me about the rocky downhill where I threw caution to the wind. He also told me he was a 2:58 marathoner, and typically finished around 7:00/mile pace in most marathons. So naturally I picked his brain for some pointers on how to get faster in marathons. He was really complimentary of me, which was very nice, but I was glad to learn what I could from him. I picked up some really great tips.
The organizers had a small awards ceremony and I got a medal for my second place finish. The first place runner got a statue of a boot with a spur - which was really cool - but I was happy that I'd ran well in a winter race. Plus, it felt good to measure myself against some experienced trail runners - and at the end of the day, I was just glad I walked away without injury or cracking my head open on a rock! It was a blast, and I will definitely be doing more trail running in the future.
... be great today!