Sunday, July 19, 2015

2015 Prowl the Sproul 10k (Race Report)

Everybody says their running community is the best. In the case of the Central Pennsylvania (Facebook: Pa Trail Races) its actually true. No matter how a particular race goes for me, physically, every single Central Pa trail running experience these past several years has been a positive one.

Its the catching up with old friends, the hug, the new introduction and handshake, the encouragement along the trail, the finish line applause, the post race conversation, and of course drinking Craig Fleming's beer. There is no elitism. Expect the justifiably 'elite' athlete to wander back down the trail and pull you up over that last berm. Its not that the road running community isn't friendly, but that its not like THIS. For those of us in the increasingly larger contingent venturing down from Bradford County (Facebook: Bradford County Races) its sort of like making a 2 hour drive from home TO our home away from home.

I had a blast at Prowl the Sproul in 2014 (race report). I was in top form in my lead up to Call of the Wilds Mountain Marathon (race report) and and the Pine Creek Challenge 100k (race report). I ran under 1:10 in 2014 and had a blast doing it. 2015 was destined to be different. I'd lost 8 weeks to injury, depression and illness. My fitness was way down and there was always the question of whether my beleaguered ankles would withstand the punishing, miles long, descent back down McCloskey Mountain to the finish.

That answer to that last question was a resounding yes (a small victorY that I'll gladly accept). Returning to my minimalist roots I left the over constructed Pearl Izumi's E:Motion Trail M2's (which i'd been using to get me through ultra runs) home and opted for an old pair of NB MT 110's (review). Light, and low to the ground seemed to do the trick.  My ankles were never a factor.

As expected, my fitness was greatly lacking. I lined up at the start with fellow Valley Running Club (facebook) Chelsea Morse, who was also concerned about her fitness. We figured that I should be able to push her, even in my condition, if we stayed together, but half way up the climb Chelsea started walking away from me. Although it was warm and muggy, with a light rain at the start, I was covered in goose pimples and experiencing chills, (a side effect of the rash I've been fighting perhaps?).

I hit the top of the mountain and found myself walking even the flats. From that point on it was clear that I needed to phone this one in. By the time I began the long descent my Garmin 110 (review) had already clicked past last year's finish time with miles left to go.

I hit the finish line feeling like crap, but all of that was soon forgotten. In Central Pa all finishers can count on a cheering section that makes them feel like the race winner - with good food, beer and camaraderie to follow. Appropriately, the rain stopped, and the clouds rolled back. Never a bad day in Central Pa.

See you at THE GREEN MONSTER TRAIL CHALLENGE 


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