Warning: Long write-up!
This morning, a group of 12 Front Runners (frny.org) and I headed to Wurtsboro, NY where the annual Wurtsboro Mountain 30K Run is held. It’s a race, but I decided not to race it — I just wanted to have fun and enjoy the company.
Wurtsboro is small city (pop. 1,234) located 75 miles north of New York City. Their annual 30K is notable for the start — a 1055-foot climb in the first 4.5 miles. The rest of the course is downhill with lots of rolling hills. It’s a tough course, but a beautiful one.
I decided to test myself a little by accepting this run, because I’m generally not a long distance runner. My runs are normally in the 5-8 mile range. The longest run I had done prior was somewhere around 11.5 miles long, and those were pretty flat miles.
I didn’t want to run this very hard, slightly because I was a little worried about the distance and the difficult course. I figured that I’d start off slow (easily done with 4.5 miles straight uphill!), then find an easy tempo in the middle. Depending how my legs felt, I figured that would determine how I’d finish the last 5 or 6 miles of the race.
This race couldn’t have gone any better. I honestly don’t think I’ve had a more enjoyable time in a race. I knew I wasn’t going to be trying to set any speed records, so it really allowed me to enjoy the beautiful scenery in Wurtsboro. I love Central Park and all, but really being in a place that is still very much untouched is something special. There were brooks, lakes, trees as far as you could see — all very beautiful, really.
I started off with my running bud Mikey B. Mikey is training for Boston, and wanted to use this as his long run for the week. He said he wasn’t going to run it real hard, so that was all I needed to hear and decided to keep him some company. The first 3 miles were absolute hell. According to Mikey’s watch, Mile 3 was somewhere around 9:30! I’m not sure how accurate the mile markers were, but some of those grades were intense.
After the first 5 miles were done, the fun part began. Miles 5-12 were nice and easy. The scenery was beautiful, and the course was rolling [down]hills with a net elevation loss. We passed the 10K marker at 51-minutes — an absolutely horribly shocking time on any flat course for us, but given the hills we were just happy the worst was behind us. We went from 8-9 minute splits to low 7s with a sub sub-7 miles.
Miles 13-18 got a little tough. There’s an elevation gain, which wasn’t fun this late in the game. Still, this is where I decided that my legs felt strong and that I was going to say good-bye to Mike and push the pace a little. I was doing low-7 miles with a lot left in the tank, but it became a difficult mental game now that I was running alone. I was passing a lot of people that had passed me early in the race, which felt great. At the home stretch, the guy right behind me started to sprint in hopes of coming in ahead of me but I had so much left that I went into an all-out sprint and totally blew him away — felt great!
Splits were roughly:
Miles 1-3 : 25:38 (forgot to get individual splits)
Mile 4: 8:44 (uphill)
Mile 5: 7:51 (finally the hills stop!)
Mile 6: 7:30
Mile 7: 8:00 (pitstop)
Mile 8: 7:32
Mile 9: 6:50
Mile 10: 6:59
Mile 11: 7:36
Mile 12: 7:32
Mile 13: 7:46 (pitstop #2)
Mile 14: 7:28
Mile 15: 7:28 (Decide to have a little faith in myself and leave Mikey)
Mile 16: 7:15
Mile 17: 7:15
Mile 18: 7:20
Mile 18.7 4:20
Overall time: 02:23:15
Finish: 22nd of 200+? (final numbers pending)