5 Peaks Highlands Nordic Centre Trail Race 2012 – Race Recap
Early morning for the team. Mike, Craig and JR drove in last night to racing central aka my place. At midnight we were still hard at work, getting ready for the race… at a party, with a drink in one hand, and a tortilla chip in the other.
Coffee fixes everything, however, and we were up at the crack of dawn to make it to the start line bright and early, and help the organizers with the set-up. My dad was running this race too, so both parents were again making an appearance!
JR and I were stationed at the table with bibs, and racing chips; Mike was helping out with the parking, and Craig seemed to be in all places at ones. This was definitely a very different experience from our usual 10,000-people-in-one-place, testosterone-filled Spartan gig. 5 Peaks races are fairly small community events, where runners bring their friends, dogs, and kids (who have their own race too!).
The registration tent, unfortunately, was set up outside, so two hours after arrival, I felt so overheated, I started regretting this race does not have a swimming component – I’d have to wait until tomorrow for that one.
Finally, we were all at the starting line. Dad and JR were running Sport course (5-6k), while Craig, Mike and I were running Enduro (2 loops). The course was quite hilly, as it takes place at a skiing resort. In fact, there is a steep hill right in front of the start line, and the challenge is to not exhaust yourself right away by sprinting up, and also not to get carried away with the pace of those running a shorter course.
I wasn’t feeling 100% during this race – not sure if it was a late night, or too much sun before the start. It took me a good half an hour to settle in, and start passing other runners. I especially love the single track and downhill – that’s what I excel in, and that’s where I’m running effortlessly, just enjoying the ride. Uphill and flat sections are a whole other story.
I saw mom as I ran by the finish line for another loop. Second loop was easier, but seemed longer. I envy my orienteering friends who actually know where they are as they are running – I just lose the sense of time and space completely…
Finally, coming to the last 500m or so, I spotted a female runner in front of me. All about strategy! If I passed her quickly at that point, there was no way I could keep her behind me until the finish line, so I sneaked up at a seemingly leisurely pace. The start line was in sight when I finally sprinted.
So did she! I passed her few meters away from the line and collapsed into a hug from JR – definitely an impressive finish!
I came at 1:10:53, 7th in my age category with an average pace of 5:55. Not bad.
Craig seemingly finished hours ago… but Mike was still out on course, so after catching my breath, I went back to sprint him in! He flew those last 100 meters!
Our team AttackPoint AR made podium, as we were second with the number of group points. Volunteering and carpooling definitely helped with the points.