Yesterday, I raced the Fred Kurz 10 mile. It is a unique race in that everyone starts at a different time and they try to get everyone to finish at the same time, 10:30am. I've never done a race like this before. It was very intimidating to know that all the faster runners were starting behind me. They estimate your finish time based on 2 race time you submit with your entry.
I wasn't sure what time I would be starting. The first runners were going off at 8:30 so I figured if I got there about 8:15. I would have time to get my bib and warm up.
I got to the school and was so happy to see that packet pick-up was in the school. It has been pretty chill in Minnesota this April. We had snow a few times last week. I didn't expect it to stick but there was about 6-8 inches of fresh snow on the ground race morning.
I was told my start time was at 9:17 so I had about 1 hour to kill before the start. It was a little to early to warm up so I sat down by a wall and got stuff ready for the race. I was thinking about heading to my car to drop stuff off when I heard a quiet "Julie." I looked around but didn't recognize anyone. Then the guy next to me says, "Your Julie ..., right." I look at him confused and replied yes. He says, "I am Barrett ... I graduated with your brother." I didn't recognize him but it was so awesome that he recognized me. We chatted for a bit. He was starting at 9:11 so a little before me. I wished him good luck and was off on my warm up.
I went and check out the trail on my warm up. I was told it was a hard packed gravel trail. Well, there was no gravel to be seen only 6-8 inches of snow that hadn't been packed down yet except for one wheel mark that zig zagged along the trail.
Before, I knew it it was almost 9:17. I started with 5 people which was kind of fun. We chatted for the first 1/2 mile then we got on the trail and one of the women took the lead. I tucked in behind her on the narrow part of the trail that was packed down. After about a 1/2 mile the 2 men behind us passed us. I stayed behind her for another 1/4 mile and decided that I better get around her and catch back up to the 2 men. I stayed behind them until about 2.5 miles into the race when they caught up to a group of men but didn't pass them. I wanted to go faster but passing 5 men that were running single file was going to be a challenge on the snow covered trail.
I passed a couple of them and snuck in to rest for a few short bit then I was off and passed the last one. From that point on in the race, I was on my own. It had been nice to have someone blocking the wind for me but I wanted to try and race so I need to go on my own.
The race was an out and back course. I wasn't sure what the etiquette was when I was meeting people that were on their way back. I didn't know if I should move out of the small section of packed snow or make them. I decided to make them move out of the packed section and that I would move out after I hit the turn around. It seemed to work.
Every time that I went to pass people, I had to speed up because I wanted to get around them quickly and get back onto the packed section of trail. A few times, I spooked people when I passed them. One time, I slipped and checked a guy with my shoulder. I apologize and raced away.
I ened up passing a lot of people after the turn around so I felt like I was doing a fartlek workout. Good thing, I did one on Monday to prepare me for the race.
I was hoping to not get passed but 2 men passed me in the last half mile. They were flying.
When I finished, I had almost caught all of the women that started before me. I think there was 1 women that I didn't catch.
I finished in 1:15:41 which was slower than they predicted but I was happy with the time considering the conditions. While I was waiting around for the award, I noticed a someone that I recognized but didn't know how. I went up and talked to him. We figured out that we have a mutual friend so we have met each other through them before. It was fun chatting with him while waiting for the award.
It turns out that I took 1st in my age group and was the 2nd place women. I won a fleece jacket.
It was less than ideal racing conditions but I am really glad that I got out there and did the race anyway.