Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 Mountaindale 5K bare buns fun run

Wow the Mountaindale 5K was even more challenging this year.  Last year, I ran non-stop up both and completed the 5K course in 34 minutes (in the middle of the pack).  This year, at the pre-run briefing, we were told that there would be 3 hills to climb this year and they were signed “1st Hill of Death”, “2nd Hill of Death”, and “Final Hill of Death”.  I usually don’t let those things discourage me.  But halfway up the first hill, I decide to stop running and to walk as fast as I could because I could see other runners ahead of me doing the same.  I had a GPS with me and it recorded a 22% grade and elevation gain of 189 ft over 0.2 miles.  The course was reversed from last year.  Instead of running down the 22% grade hill and running up a7% grade gravel road, we did the opposite and there is an unmistakable difference between running up a 7% and a 22% grade.  Anyway, when it started to “sort of” level off, I resumed running until I saw the “2nd Hill of Death” sign.  I tried keep on running but eventually decided that I could walk faster up the hill than run and still have some energy left when I got to the top.  My GPS recorded the second hill as a 26% grade or 256 feet elevation gain over 0.2 miles.  We all tried to make up for lost time on the downhill leg but then I rounded a corner and saw the “Final Hill of Death” sign.  I managed to walk up that one with an average speed of 3.7 miles per hour.  According to my GPS, the last hill was no different that the first, only a 22% grade or an elevation gain of 114 feet over a distance of 514 feet.  Maybe it looked steeper because it was a single track with switchbacks.  Once again, as soon as it “sort of” leveled off I resumed running and finished the 5K course in 37 minutes and 28 seconds (again in the middle of the pack).  Thanks to Bob, Becky and Rylla for organizing the race, to the volunteers stationed at the trail intersections so we wouldn't get lost and at the water tables and to everyone who participated in the run.  And thank you for the slices of cold watermelon at the finish line.  It felt like a real accomplishment and confidence builder just

to cross the finish line.

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