Saturday, March 29, 2008

Napa Valley Trail 10K - Calistoga CA

I decided not to do the full marathon of this race as I had to fly to Seattle the next morning and where I planned to do another race. The 10K should be a nice little speed workout before a brutal gauntlet of ultras in April and May: AR 50M, North Face NYC 50M, Boston Marathon, Capitol Peak 50M, QuickSilver 50M, Ohlone 50K, and PCTR Portland Forest Park.

I saw Ray Sanchez at the start of course, as we both seem to do each and every local trail race. We compared notes on the last five races we had done together (Sequoia, Skyline Ridge, Napa Valley, Marin Trails, Morro Bay) and the next two (AR 50 and Malibu Creek next weekend).


Race director Dave Horning sent out the marathoners first. Before the half marathon start ten minute later he said that half marathoners could stop and get credit for a 10K. Perfect. I decided to save the time and go ahead and start my 10K right there and then.

Leading out at the start
I headed out and tried to stay on the front. Pete Kogler was just moving too fast however. I ended up staying about a minute off of him for the whole run. Molly Schmelzle was nipping at my heels for most of the run as well. Good incentive to move faster and not get "chicked". Molly won the women's half marathon and finished third overall.

We were going up and down fairly mild rolling single track. There were some stream crossings to slow things down. But not too many. I had done this race in October of 2005 in around 50 minutes. But really this seemed like a course that should be 7:30 pace or so. 45 minutes seemed achievable. At the finish, by the time I clicked stop on my watch (they weren't really ready for finishers since I had started ten minutes earlier) my watch read 45:31. With the wave that started 10 minutes later, Rob Cargie of Calgary, Alberta ran it a bit faster and won the 10K division in 45:05. I ended up in second place (first loser) as I would do again the next day in another race in Seattle.

This is a fun little jaunt of light rolling hills. I'm not quite sure that its worth the drive up to Calistoga. But if you're hankering for a day in wine country it may be worth the drive.


Post a Comment

<< Home