Saturday, November 13, 2010

Arctic Commando Trail Run 2010

As during the past two years, I participated in the St. Paul Central HS XC Ski team's fundraising foot race held on Battle Creek Park's hilly trails. Given the season, both previous editions I participated in had been anything but mild. On both occasions, snow flakes were dancing in the air and cold was somewhat of a factor. This year the race could almost have been held on skis, as the first serious winter storm dumped about 20 cm of wet new snow of which 10 cm were already coating the circuit.

I was feeling pretty good going into this even, having worked on my speed including some hill work into my training routine throughout this fall. Based on my experience during the previous year on a wet and slippery track, I was going to use my Inov-8 Mudclaw trail runners, which I had purchased earlier this year, mostly for orienteering. They proved invaluable.

Heavy snow flakes were falling when we lined up at the start and everybody was eager to get going before getting wet and chilled.
The young'uns leading the pack at the start.
Photo by Kathy Waite at
After dashing past the young racers who were participating in the 2 mile event, I resisted the urge to get with the lead group. Instead, I joined a guy who seemed to have close to my tempo and stuck to his heels. He was younger and faster rolling down the hills, however he was struggling on the uphill sections where the studs on my Mudclaws came into play.

I was pushing myself, huffing and puffing but hanging in there. With about 1 km remaining, tackling the last uphill, quite a gentle one compared to the rest of them, I pulled alongside. I fully anticipated to fall back again on the next downhill. It turned out that my rival was spent, he waved me on and I quickly put 50 m between him and myself. That distance grew to about a 100 m till the finish and in spite of the difficult conditions I finished 4th of 34, with my best pace, making my best performance yet at this event.  For results, see skinnyski.

Link to all Arctic Commando trail runs.

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