There have been five total Scuffle races and I have somehow managed to be one of the very few to run all five ( I think only 3 or 4 completed all 5). The weather ranged from pouring rain to the most current 80 degrees ......my two best times were in the two worse and opposite conditions. I have to say I much more prefer the pouring rain for this type of race and terrain.
I like it when I have a good race report and this one definitely went quite well, not only did I PR by a substantial amount, but I actually ran a smidgen conservative in the middle miles because of the weather. Who knows what I might have done on a misty or fall like day.
Another surprise was that the deer flies seemed to have taken a day off as I don't remember being bothered by them. When I ran earlier in the week, I couldn't run fast enough to keep them off me.
Could I have run that much faster?? or perhaps other peoples sweat was more attrctive than mine?
I may be a bit bias, but I would sign up for any race sight unseen that was put on by Ian and Ryan. Two guys that really care and have an attitude that spills over to the volunteers and the racers. When most race directors speak of bandits in a race, they seem more concerned about the financial side of the problem. These two guys are more worried about how it affects the racers, the results and the commitment they make to the park.
I decided to start fairly close to the front to try and not get too bottled up in the first mile. of course this means running a little faster than I should in the first half mile so I don't cause a slow down for the runners behind me. Even so, I had a lot of people passing for at least a half mile. At about 3/4 mile I slowed a bit and settled into what seemed like a good pace for me and felt it was about right because not many runners were passing me at this point.
As I literally bound up the first rooty hill and turned up the snowmobile trail (passing at least three runners), I knew it was going to be a pretty good day. The long washed out snowmobile trail hill was slightly taxing and I was glad to turn onto the single track for easier running.
Even though my mile pace was slower on the single track, I enjoy that style or running much more.
I found myself picking off runners one by one, though I got picked off by a few runners too, two of which I am positive I picked back off.
Once I hit the end of the park and turned left for the 2.5 mile home stretch, I was only passed by one runner and I ended up out kicking this runner by 9 seconds......so felt pretty good about the last 2 miles.
When running a practice session last Tuesday, I pushed a solid race pace and was surprised by the easy feeling on the hills. This had me stoked for the race and felt the hills would surely be my friend today. Contrary to my belief, the long hill in mile four for some reason seemed extra long and a bit tiring. I suspect this was my slowest mile.
After feeling the effects of mile four, I hoped I recouped enough on the long down hill of mile five to master the last hill in mile six which usually has most runners complaining. I don't know if it was the conditioning/ training or the fact that I knew the end and a PR was close, but the last hill was really not an issue, at the top I started my speedup and eventual kick to victory......and it was sweet.
For some reason, this race and this distance seem perfect for me because reguardless of my finishing time, I loved all five Scuffles. Looking at my finishing times, I think I have reversed the trend. I did however miss racing through the mud.