Sunday, December 7, 2008

2008 Tecumseh Trail Marathon Race Report

Well, I'm still having trouble getting back on the blogger wagon, but hopefully I'll come around. I actually have a race report to post! A big deal considering I haven't run a race since spring!

This was my third year at Tecumseh. It's a really nice trail marathon in Bloomington, Indiana. The race is put on by DINO ("Do Indiana Outdoors," our something like that), a local outdoors group that does a lot of different events on the trails in the area. This course is about as close as a marathon can get to being an ultra. I've found that an average time for me at Tecumseh is about the same as a fast time for a flat trail 50k. It consists of 3500 feet of gain, and varys from mostly single track, to stretches of gravel and dirt roads. The organization and aid stations are well run, with great volunteers. The shirts are hit or miss, mostly miss, but it's fun seeing what kind of weird thing they're going to give us. This year it was a white sweatshirt with a giant brown rectangle in the middle. I think it was some sort of abstract forest scene. It is very grainy and hard to make out. It looks like a still frame from a video camera you would see on the news with the caption: "Big foot spotted last night at local metro park, neigbor says family dog is missing."

I went out on Friday night and stayed in a cabin with Marla, Ellen, Brian, Don, Bob, Matt, and other members of the Buffalo group from IL. I've hardly been running at all so my plan was to take it really easy and make sure I was still capable of finishing a challenging trail race comfortably. Mission accomplished. I strated off in the back of the pack, lightly jogging at a 15:00 minute pace for the first few miles. I was in 100 mile mode for the first 10 miles until I realized the race was almost half way over and I should probably pick it up. I came to the halfway point on pace for a 6 hour finish and gradually picked up the pace and ran some of the hills. It was a really big field as far as trail races go, with over 6oo runners. This made it difficult to pass on the single track with so many people in front of you. At times, on the uphills, I felt like I was standing in line at wal-mart on black friday. Towards the end things thinned out pretty well and I was able to go at my own pace, still slow and comfortable. I felt very even through the race, and never had to slow down due to physical limitations. I ended up finishing in 5:25 and felt pretty good about that.