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2010-12-04 - Frozen Slopes 6k XC

~3.9 miles @ ~8.8 min/mi

As expected, Caren Jew is already parked and waiting for me when I arrive 15 minutes early at Lake Bernard Frank for the MCRRC "Frozen Slopes" cross-country race this morning. She claims to have only been waiting for a minute, but ups that to five when I threaten to check her engine temperature and refute her story. We sit in her car and chat, then make the trek to the Meadowside Nature Center, greet a crowd of friends, and eventually head for the starting line.

At 0900 it's "GO!"; I begin less than 10 seconds behind the line. The slopes are indeed frozen and strewn with leaves, but perhaps recent runs on much rougher terrain have recalibrated my feet—or maybe I'm just in the mood to gamble. I dash out too fast, taking advantage of the downhills and paved segments of the course. For the final mile Leslie Anchor is breathing down my neck. I hear her stumble and check that she's fine; a root makes me semi-roll an ankle and Leslie oohs in sympathy. We pull one another along and pursue but can't catch Kenneth Sevik.

After we finish I grab a cup of water and trek back along the course, encouraging the runners and they climb past me, and at the bottom of the final hill chat with the course marshall who saw me at the NCT Marathon a week ago and who tells me about her winter/spring race plans. When Caren arrives I follow her back to the finish line, and then we return to the Nature Center for conversation and post-race food, including some excellent veggie chili.

Mile splits by the GPS: 8.5, 8.1, 9.0, and a final 0.9 mi at 9.6 min/mi—lots of uphill in the second half, not to mention fatigue. The official 34:31 result puts me second of seven in my age/sex group, 41st among the men, 48th overall.

(cf. 2007-12-01 - MCRRC Frozen Slopes 6k XC, ...) - ^z - 2010-12-12