Saturday, September 13, 2014

Camptown Races (Race Report)

Bradford County's oldest foot race, the historic Camptown Races returned again this year for its 48th running. I've now run the race three times. 7 days out from my finish at the Pine Creek 100k I was not sure if i'd be able to make it this year. I'm mostly recovered from last weekend's 12 hour, 34 minute effort, but my hip has been bothering me, to say nothing of the six pack of Ithaca Green Trail i consumed last night.

I found myself laying in bed awake at 5:00AM this morning and figured what the hell, I’m up. Nothing else to do. So i threw my running gear on under some jeans and a fleece and stuck ten dollars for the entry in my wallet. If I got there and decided I didn’t feel like running, its only a 45 minute drive, and I had my camera with me. I could always snap some pictures instead.

Race day is always too much fun to pass up. Soon after arrival I registered, and toed the line at 10:00PM with no expectations. My big goal for the year was accomplished the previous Saturday. This was a recovery run, a victory lap, and an excuse to slog some muddy trails with both new and old friends.

The approximately 10k course begins with just under 5k of road. Not my favorite part of the course, but then it is part of the equation that makes Camptown rather unique among local races. Its like running two races, a road 5k and a trail 5k. The road section favors those with good leg turnover. The trail section is more about balance and toughness.

I ran a relaxed 6:53 opening mile, slowed to 7:30 on the second. By the start of the third mile (8:30) I wasn’t having very much fun. My hip was bothering me and I felt fatigued. Luckily the course turns right, up the hill and onto muddy trails at around the 5k mark. I fell in with the current women’s race leader and struck up a conversation when I noticed, the Trail Runner Trophy Series and Hyner View Trail Challenge logo’s on her shirt. She’d driven up from Tunkhannock that morning, but like so many of us, favors central Pa for her trail racing.

My body began to feel more at home once we began to roll along the hillside back toward town. The trail is mainly double track, with a few sections of single thrown in. Some rocks and roots, but nothing too technical. The morning’s rains, which had ceased for the moment but would return shortly, made things a little slick which is completely fine by me.

Somewhere around mile four the eventual women’s race winner, a 16 year old, oddly enough in a full length skirt, came up behind us and passed. I’d found a comfortable pace and was happy with it. I was beginning to warm up, and new I had plenty more speed in my legs, but I had no real desire or intention of using it.

With less than a mile to go the trail pops out on the hard road and heads downhill back to the start/finish line at the town ball field where I would play the occasional little league game many years ago. I hung with the first and second place ladies, egging them on to the finish, secretly rooting for the Hyner t-shirt (Michelle Brown), of course. She eventually took second just a couple paces behind first place. I hung on for third in our little trio in 49:22 (Garmin), my slowest finish ever on the course. Unexpectedly this would still be good enough for a 2nd place finish in my age group. 

The skies opened as I stood by chatting and cheering in the rest of the field. I wouldn't dare complain about the day's 50 degrees and rain. In a few months we’ll be crying about 20 degrees and snow.

Shoes: Patagonia EVERlong.

I've worn these shoes at Prowl the Sproul 10k and Pine Creek Challenge 100k. No lugs, but traction was not an issue. They seem pretty sticky.

This was also my 20th race of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment