Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Autumn Leaves Race Report

This was my second year of racing the NERC Autumn Leaves 5 Miler at the Lake Farmpark in Kirtland. This is a grassroots cross country style race with a fun vibe and some solid competition. It is definitely not a PR course but a great race to challenge yourself and have some fun. Each year the course is altered some, which also makes it interesting.

Steve raced also so we were able to eat breakfast and get in our warm ups together. It was a chilly morning so we did our best to stay warm up until the race start. The start is fast as it begins with a downhill section and quickly winds down through some of the dirt roads within the farmpark before heading into some lengthy sections of pasture. The grass was long and muddy from rains the night before. As usual this made for some slower footing. After about 2 miles the course winds through a corn maze. This year the maze section was longer. The twists and turns through the maze and the slippery sections definitely make it a challenging part of the course. If a corn maze won't get your heart rate up then I don't know what will!

I'm in the pink chasing 1st in my AG ahead of me after the corn maze
Coming out of the maze you reenter the pasture and there are some nice hills to keep that heart pumping. I had been passed by two women (including the one who won my AG) not long before entering the maze but was not able to close the gap as I had hoped. The rest of the race I just tried to run within myself and give what I could that day. After coming off a bad race the week before where I pulled out halfway due to lingering foot issues I wasn't sure how I'd fare a week later, especially in harder conditions. Fortunately the foot held up okay for me.

When we finally got out of the last pasture section and hit the dirt road leading back the finish I felt both happy and annoyed. My garmin had showed 40:01 (a slower time than last year by about a minute) but it also showed the course as 5.18 miles. In my mind I ran as best as I could on a hard course and ended up placing 9th female and 2nd in the 35-39AG (which is where I placed last year). All in all I am happy with the result and looking forward to tacking the the Salt Fork 10 Mile Challenge next weekend.

Post race with our award beer glasses!
Steve had a great race and finished with the same time as last year (33 & change), given the longer course. He placed 8th overall and 1st in the 45-49AG. We both won new glasses, which were perfect to enjoy the tasty IPAs we had that night to celebrate another race in the books.

1 comment:

  1. I'll take 5 miles under 40 minutes and an age group award any way it comes! Great race, cograts