Saturday, March 18, 2006

Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K - Syracuse, Utah

A race where you can run on an island park inside the Great Salt Lake, amidst buffalo and antelope. Who could resist?

I got to the race at 6am to help hand out bags for the participants (they said they need volunteers) at the entrance to the island. Probably not the strategy for optimum performance, but I race enough I need to do some volunteering to repay that karmic debt. It was quite cold: maybe 35 degrees? But sunny and clear and beautiful Most of the entrants were in by 7am so I was able to leave and drive onto the island for the start.

This race was in its first year but still had over 150 participants.

We headed out on the flats for about a mile to the trailhead. Then it was 2.5 miles from there crosscountry to the Lone Tree aid station. Many people (including myself) abandoned their cold weather gear at the aid station there. Lone Tree was part way up a small mountain known as "Elephant Head". About a mile after Lone Tree the real climbing began, and, for the first time this season, I felt like being a hill runner helped. It was a gradual climb but relentless. I felt great going up. And the downhills were not that technical (which is not my strongsuit). Just muddy, and, occasionally, snowcovered. We got close to the top and came back another trail to the aid station again. Then turned right shortly afterwards and went up another hill, over and down to the finish. I felt great the whole way. Wonderful race. I finished in 2:25 for third masters male.

I then ran out to the aid station (a little more than three miles each way) to get my hat and gloves. I'll try not to make that mistake next year. Those last six miles of slow jog, were not nearly as fun as the racem and turned the moderate 25K run into almost a marathon.


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