2009 Grandfather Mountain Marathon

I last ran Grandfather Mountain Marathon in 2007 as a training run, and figured it would again be good for hill training. This time DJ joined PM and me, and a great time was had by all.

In 2007 I went out conservatively for the first ten miles, then ran a hard effort to finish up with 3:32. This time I stuck with a more even effort over the entire course, finishing in 3:13 and 13th overall. (However, still only 7th in the 30-39 age group).

Lots of recap and photos behind the link

Miles For Marines trail 15K

Tino, Hochberg, Janie and I drove down to SC last Friday for the first annual Miles For Marines 15K trail run. Intended as a fundraiser for injured U.S. Marines, the run is not formally a race, with no race numbers or formal timing. The course was through Westminster Park, private land owned by a Presbyterian Church, much of it on well-groomed trails and even a few miles of freshly mowed field grass.

I wasn’t exactly feeling up for a quick trail race, so I stayed well behind a lead pack of about 5 (which included Hochberg), and kept them in sight for about two miles. I found the paths reasonably marked, but apparently the lead pack did not, and took a wrong turn sometime around mile 4. Turns out I unknowingly led the race until about mile 7. (I thought it was strange that I was knocking down so many cobwebs!) One guy paced along with me for most of the race, and then left when another guy overtook us with a lot more enthusiasm than I had. So, I think I was third, and was happy with my pace, considering the workout my ankles and other underutilized trail muscles got. Hochberg ended up running too many extra miles to be happy, and Tino and Janie seemed uncomfortable with the terrain. I liken the terrain to Anne Springs Close Greenway, though the mowed sections were often slanted and tricky on tired ankles.

I give the volunteers a big thumbs-up; the event was very well-done to not be a formal race. Plus, it was for a very good cause. Next year I would encourage them to organize with a timing company (this course has the makings of a great XC race), but I will likely return regardless. Friendly people, great cause, good fun.

Myers Park Summer Track, final week

Last night was the final night of CTTC Myers Park Summer Track Series, featuring championship races for the top qualifiers from the month, and a 5000 meter race instead of the 2 mile. This was only my second visit, but I’ll definitely be at more of them next year.

I did reasonably well with a 5:24 mile and an 18:52 5K, slight improvements over my previous week efforts. I haven’t done speed work on a track since before I got hurt last year, so I have a lot to learn about pacing on a track. My current intention is to be able to break a 5 minute mile and to run the 5K comfortably in the 17s this time next year, so I have plenty of work cut out for me.

Very nice to see plenty of Crazy Leggers show up. Congrats to Dan “Duracell” Hochberg, who placed third in the master’s championship mile with a smoking 5:16. Very nice seeing Mike, Tino, and the entire Koos family all running events, and also having Julia and the Stewarts there to cheer us on.