half road/half trail 8k this morning in city creek canyon. this is a sports-am race put on by james zwick. he always does a good job -- his races are fun and affordable with no frills (it's a cotton t-shirt race!)
so, as the name implies, you run half the race on the road and half on the trail. this was my debut trail race, and my debut in the 8k, so i didn't know what to expect. in an effort to show my true naiveté about trail running, i showed up to the race wearing my hattori's. they actually ended up working quite well, but i think it was a lot of wear-and-tear for the very un-robust shoes to handle.
we started out running up the road by the access gate in city creek, and connected to the trail within about 150 meters. the trail was nice -- some good undulations with a few short but solid uphills and downhills. a good section of it was nice and shady, but the downside to that was that the trail was covered in patchy, stagnant mud. there were also a few sections where the grass/weeds became very tall and thick, so much so that the trail disappeared. i had a hard time on these sections -- i couldn't see the trail and we were running directly into the sun. i was momentarily disoriented and felt i was about to fall with each step. this part slowed me down a bit, but i was able to pick it back up once the trail widened again and things were more visible. i am not quite sure where the turn-around came, but i would guess it was somewhere around 2.7-2.8 miles. from there, it was a downhill sprint to the finish via asphalt -- something i am a little more familiar with.
i ran as hard as i could down the road given the somewhat steep grade and my somewhat weak tibia. i felt good, but my pace wasn't that spectacular. the road was just steep enough that it was difficult for me to get up to full speed without pounding/braking/breaking.
i finished in 34:13 and felt "i-have-no-idea-what-that-indicates" about my time. after the race, james and i went for a long cooldown, where we met up with kam who was coming down the canyon. the three of us ran back up to the 3.5 mile mark near the top of the canyon, then james and i split off to go back down and kam sojourned on.
17 miles total for the day; 60 for the week. my last 60 was in april. top of utah is in 5 weeks. yeek. brunch and grapefruit juice at ruth's diner to refuel.