Posted by: Richard Bray | November 22, 2009

Pine Ridge 10km Trail Race

My training in October was going strong and I was averaging upwards of 60km a week with strength work on top of this. Then I took a week off to go to a wedding in Sarasota, Florida where all of my kiwi friends came together for a celebration that lasted a week long. Needless to say, the alcohol took over and my training went downhill. To make things worse, I got food poisoning the night I left the U.S. and was out for another week. The price I paid for trying to eat something healthy in the U.S.

I managed to get a few cheeky runs in last week ahead of this morning’s 10km trail race called the Pine Ridge. My friends Mark, Danny and I drove down not knowing what to expect after a week of rain. Of course, being a full trail race through the forest, the rain had made the course very wet and muddy under foot. Needless to say, a lot of the participants had opted to stay in bed leaving it to approx 680 of us to tackle the course.

Setting off around the course we quickly established our places in the field with a couple of fly away runners and around 15 of us pushing to keep up. The wet and muddy course meant you had to keep your eyes on the ground to ensure you kept your knees and ankles intact. 3km in I checked my watch and it said 10:23… pretty fast pace to set out at so I settled back into more of a manageable speed and kept one eye on the ground and one eye firmly on the runners ahead of me.

7km in I started to hurt. Not my legs – my chest. The cold weather was getting to me and it was made worse with the rain starting to settle in. With my head down, I aimed for the finish line coming in at a time of 41:23. Not bad considering the state of the course and my lead up to the race. It does also highlight the work I need to do ahead of the big races next year. I ended up coming in 20th out of the 680 or so starters which was pleasing. Even more pleasing was finishing and putting on my warm jacket ahead of the hail!

Next race is in two weeks… the Grim Challenge. 12 miles of trail running with obstacles and water hazards throughout.  2 weeks to prepare… time to get the KM’s back up.

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