Sunday, March 03, 2013
Last year I ran the Hawkeye 25K on March 17. I wore a short sleeve shirt and capris. By the time I finished the race around 11:00, the temperature was nearly 80 degrees, and the race was actually stopped early after several runners had issues with heat stroke during the second lap for the 50K race.
Before I jump into my recap of this year's race, I should mention that I almost dropped out Thursday night. Mother Nature showered 8 inches of snow on us Tuesday (when the forecast only called for a trace!) and I was worried about ice. I'm in a play this weekend, and I didn't want to get injured before the last two performances. The race director said there shouldn't be much ice, but probably a lot of mud and slush. I decided that's doable and stayed in the race.
Last year's race was great except for the temperature, this year was great except for the snow in the final four miles. The temperature was probably in the upper 10s to low 20s when the race started, but with no clouds or wind, the temperatures reached the very comfortable mid-30s by the time I crossed the finish line. Most of the first 11 miles of this race are on paved roads and crushed gravel trail, and surprisingly they were pretty clear of snow. I started at a good pace and thought I might even beat my time from last year, even with the two pit stops I had to make at the aid stations. But the final 4 miles of the race dashed those hopes quickly. This section of the course was up and down hills on dirt trails. Running down was actually easier than last year because I didn't have to worry about tripping on roots, but going up was like trying to run up a sand dune - ain't gonna happen. My walk up/run down plan worked well. Another run caught up to me during the last two miles, which surprised me because at one point I turned around and couldn't see anyone behind me. We chatted as we went, which was a nice distraction from my watch and my tired legs.
I finished the race in 3:13:40 (3:04:29 not counting the bathroom stops). Last year I finished just under 3 hours, but considering the vast difference in weather and my training, I'm very pleased with how I did. Last year I was training for the Green Bay HM, so I was running 4-5 days a week. This year I'm teaching full time and coaching high school speech, so I was limited to 2-3 runs per week. Now I have three weeks off before I start training for my next big races - an Olympic and sprint triathlon within a week of each other in June!
I only have one picture related to the race, my finisher's medal and my post-race indulgence. instagram.com/p/WXnd_1nJ