Sleepy Hollow Mtn Race: USATF-NE MTN Championships.
I've been fretting and dissecting this race in my head all week leading into it. It's a tough course bc it favors fast runners and is not your typical "mountain" race.
I'm one to never lack confidence and I was incredibly interested to see where my fitness would leave me. Past weeks are sluggish and slow, not the best for wanting to run fast. My best saving grace is: I'm tough as cussing nails and want it more than anyone else.
The field was going to be incredibly competitive and my main goal was to be in the mix. Well, that's the right thing to say, so here's my real thought, "I want to win the cussing race, devour souls, use their spines as floss to rid their ravished particles from my teeth." But, it's so tough to say those things when the dudes I raced are the nicest people in New England if not the world.
Upon pulling into the parking lot, Eric (who I foolishly gave a ride) see immediately Double J's rig, and then I spot Brandon Newbould just beyond. Tough comp!
I'm a pure hater, it's what I do. It's impossible to hate on these guys and it always great to see them.
Having run the course last year (and yes, winning) I felt like I had an advantage. If only on my head, that's all I need. I had a race plan and was going to stick to it, and was set on it being enough to do what I dart out to do.
The course in a nutshell (great Alice in Chains jam!) first mile is rolling up to the top, then down for a mile, then up a long tough climb to 3 miles, then down to the start and 4 miles, then out a 2 mile lollipop with a gradual switchback hill to climb before screaming back to the finish. Around 6 miles total (+/-).
On the warm up I felt very good, almost too good, devil's grin good.
The start of the race was out quick, Eric MacKnight and Brandon went right to the front with me right behind them. Eric would continue to push up the first 500m of the climb and it looked like he was going to run away with it. Brandon covered this charge and I had to let them go, it was too hot for me. Upon creating the first climb to the rollers, I started to stride out and instantly caught them. My plan was to make a move right before the mile, which is right before the top. My move was to get to the top first them ravish the downhill like Haiti. I wanted to pound the pace like an elaborate gang handshake. Totally get wild and sprint. And this is what I did, it took me a bit to get around Brandon (and I took King of the Mountain honors just before the preme, which I was unaware of until after the race. I figured the King of the Mountain would be on the second climb. But, shouldn't the King of the Mountain be the winner of a Mountain race? Cuss yes! I felt a little bit like a Richard when I found out that I past 10 meters from the top, but I wasn't going to deviate from my race plan).
I was redlining the downhill and executed the plan well. By the second climb I had a nice gap. Phase two, get up the second climb without diving into oxygen debt, then punish the downhill again and get out of sight. Engaged and executed.
I continued to tell myself that they were right behind me an that I can't fall asleep. I didn't want to get run down. Coming by the start I knew I had a great opportunity to win if I could just keep it together the last 3k. I kept filling my head with positive affirmation, "bc I'm good enough, and tough enough, and doggonit, people like me..."
Total composure was lost, I had to dig and scrape to keep the needle pinned in the red. I really killed myself the last 3k. The pics tell it all. I also don't look as fit as I raced.
In a great field, I was very fortunate to come out with a W. I had a very good day and as it turned out, at 4 miles I had over a minute on second, and put an additional minute over the last 3k.
I'm very happy to have been by myself bc the race for second sounded tough. 4 guys switching spots over the last miles was something I'm glad I wasn't a part of.
We then hit Huntington Gorge to cleanse and shrink up our manhoods in its frosty waterfall river. It was a great day to be alive.
I included two color pics from this year (painful) and a suave mother cusser from last year. What a physical difference.
(+/-) 10k: 38:17 course record, King of the Mountain, King of Pain, King of VT and The Last Hero and Only Hope...