I am a little delayed in writing my report on my 1st trail race. I was lucky to win entry into Chase the Coyote in the lottery and after a very short debate with myself about signing up for the 50KM race, I decided the 25KM race was the better choice this time. I raced 5 triathlons over the summer, so my training was solely focused on triathlon training that I did not try any trail runs. I was also racing the Niagara Falls Barrelman Half Iron distance triathlon the Sunday before, so I was not going into Chase the Coyote with a lot of expectations. I spent the week between Barrelman and Chase the Coyote with some easy runs and bikes.
Following the advice of the pre-race email to ensure you plan enough time to park and get checked as the parking lot is small, I got there nice and early. So early in fact that I was able to part right next to the start finish line. I will have to remember my next running race that I do not need as much prep time prior to the start as I do in a triathlon. The check in process was very easy and the volunteers all very friendly.
I had set a time goal of 2 hours and 30 mins, which was really just a guess more then anything. I was quite happy with the cool but sunny temperatures on the morning of the race after struggling in the scorching heat the week end before.
I started out with a fairly moderate pace to not push to hard with Cardiac Hill 2KM in to the race. Not know what to really expect it was pleasantly surprised that it was not nearly as bad as I expected it be. After keeping a similar pace for the next couple of KM’s I start to push my pace a little more and was slowly catching and passing other runners.
When I hit the 10KM mark, I was fair bit ahead of the pace to finish in 2:30. When I race, I typically try to be self sufficient with my nutrition, so I did not take anything from any of the aid stations along the way, but they were right on top of things asking if you need anything as you approached and cheered you on as you passed.
Coming up to the 68 steps to ruin, it looked a little daunting and was definitely a challenge, but made the up the hill and steps at a quick walking pace and then back to running shortly before the top. It was around this time that I started to feel it in the quads. Although it was not going up the hills the was really challenging, it was going down the hills quickly that was becoming challenging. Roots of evil was tackled fairly easily. All in all through the race, I had a couple of slight stumbles on roots and/or rocks, but stayed on my feet.
Hitting the 20km my time just re-affirmed that I was coming in under the 2:30 mark and started to think that maybe a podium in my age could be possible? (I checked the results from the previous year).
About 2 kms to go an another runner passed me (surprisingly the 1st person to pass). He looked a fair bit younger that I am so at that point I was not too concerned, however about a minute later I was passed again, but this time he looked much more likely to be in my age group. I had passed him (another Running Free teammate) maybe around 10KM’s, and had a chat with him. At this point I figure this may possible push me off the podium (if I was even there), so figured I better try to stay with him with the hope that I would have something left to pass him back at the finish, however with about a KM to go and a good portion of the final KM downhill, my legs would not cooperate, I was not going to catch them.
I crossed the finish line in 2:11:42, placing 14th overall and 6th in the 40-49 age group. All things considered I called it a great day, and think I would definitely try another trail race in the future.
Everything about the race and the day was great, the gloves are great, extremely well run with amazing volunteers, good food after the race. I could not think of any suggestions that could be made to improve on it.