Saturday, June 09, 2007

Lake Youngs Ultra - Renton WA

We flew to Seattle the night before and stayed overnight at the Renton Spring Hill Suites. Race morning dawned gray and cool (for June). We drove the six miles to Old Petrovitsky Road at 6:30am where a small group of 80 or so racers gathered. Some runners had chosen the 6:00am early start.

My goal was to run 1:20 for each 9.6 mile loop and finish in under 4 hours.

I took off at a slow jog and tried to take it as easy as possible. I was still fighting a little psoas twinging especially on the downhills, but thankfully didn't seem to have and calf, soleus or foot pain. The course itself was ideal for me: lots of rolling hills and all trail. It was a little weird that we were actually running _outside_ of Lake Youngs Park. The trail ran alongside the outside of the fence the whole way. I also would have preferred some singletrack.

I finished the first loop of 9.6 miles in 1:18 and Rebecca was there with Red Bull and chicken soup for me. I knew that I was running around sixth overall but didn't know that I was first master. I took off caught up to Ken McFadden, who had come in the first loop after me. Chris Davis passed both of us powering up the hills looking strong. Even though I was taking it easy, I did feel inspired to reel him in. Ken tagged along and we caught him about halfway into the loop. Chris announced that he was just doing two loops today. We ran together for a while and when I saw the last big hill at around 7 miles I surged up it. Ken stayed right on my tail. We then ran alongside each other for the last couple miles and both came in at 2:40.

I felt great on all the hills and I was feeling barely winded and fresh. But the outer edge of my right foot was hurting as soon as I got up from eating. I was looking forward to next week's trail running festival in Aspen and didn't want to reinjure myself, so I called it a day and tried to save some powder for the next battle. If I had known I was several minutes ahead for first master I might not have made the same decision.


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