For the second year in a row I ran this race with compromised vision! Last year I had just scratched my right cornea before running it, this year my right eye is still recovering from PRK surgery. My goal is to run it next year with crystal-clear sight…
Anyway, this race takes place on trails at 10,000 feet elevation in the city of Brian Head, UT. We start at a parking lot near one of the ski lifts, head out on paved road for a little ways then turn onto an RV trail, then turn again onto single track trail. After a little while you turn back out onto the RV trail, then back onto paved road to finish in the same place we started.
My mom and I both did this race, and both of us were slower than the previous year. However, my mom has the excuse that she had knee surgery earlier and is slowed down a lot on the uneven terrain due to her knee still being sensitive. My only excuse was that I felt the altitude a lot and that I let my negative self-talk side talk me out of pushing hard. But then again, it was glorious to be in the mountains where it was only 65 degrees, so maybe I was trying to prolong the time spent in comfortable temps before I headed back home to the Vegas heat!
The overall winning time was 24 minutes, which is a lot slower than what you might see at a typical road 5K. I think my time was around 35 minutes, based on what the clock said at the finish. This wasn’t a chip-timed race.
Prior to the race this man in his 60’s started to chat with my mom. He was a nice enough fellow, but a bit boastful about all his previous victories when it came to running. Just before the race he went and changed into a mesh tank top, which just kind of made me chuckle. He did win his age group in the race, but my mom won her age group as well… so she looked just as hard-core and tough as he tried to act! I told her, “I think he’s flirting with you.” She quipped, “I think he was flirting with YOU.” Both of us were laughing at that one!
This was seriously the hardest 3 miles I’ve run in a long time. I was sucking air moments into the race and my heart was pounding. I rolled my left ankle about 3 separate times on loose rocks. And I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I don’t like running in my trail shoes. Yes, they are trail running shoes… but they just feel like lead. I like hiking in them just fine, but something about running in them doesn’t feel as comfortable as I would like.