This was my second trail race at the USNWC, and like last time, it was great! Very well-organized and professionally run. Since maybe February, I've only been running about once a week. Somehow, that seemed to be enough to keep up some semblance of fitness. This run was the Brew Dash 6K, a mixture of two things I enjoy very much - running and craft beer. It was worth giving it a try, to see how it would go. I had gotten in a couple of light intervals sessions while I was travelling, which should've helped.
I arrived early. I picked up my shirt (with a cool design, as usual, for USNWC races) and number, and waited in the car until it was close to time. I did my 4 minute warmup, then hung out by the starting line. There, I met a girl who had finished an Ironman the previous week - crazy and amazing! We talked about our running backgrounds and the course. It would be a downhill first 0.5 mi, followed by an uphill mile, followed by fairly flat running.
The race was released in three waves, which was helpful, and race timing was by chip. The first wave was maybe 7:30 and under. I headed out strong, full of excitement. Before short races like this, I feel a wee bit of apprehension, related to the impending pain of pushing oneself. There's always a risk of burning out, but the thrill of the start is so much fun. The first downhill section is double-track, which is great for allowing people to settle in to reasonable positions before the single-track hit.
Once at the single track, I cruised and recovered for a bit from the early push. Soon, we were close to the end. Just hold on. The race finished with a steep uphill, but we were able to give it all then, since it was the end.
Splits> 14:18 for 2 (7:09 ave), 7:06, 7:26 for 0.7?
3.7 in 28:22, 7:37 average.
That ended up being good for 2nd place in my age group - woo hoo! I had managed to snag 3rd in AG at the New South Half Marathon... moving on up! And the prize was great, too.... A NODA 4-pack of beer, a fresh pint at the brewery (I chose a Saison, only to realize later that they had the most amazing Cucumber "Gose Gone Wild" that is one of the best beers I've ever had), plus a NODA running club shirt and water bottle.
After the race, I tried Whitewater rafting. Then, craft beer sampling time! For $6, you got a punch card for 4x2oz samples. I went for special ones, like multiple varieties of Gose, a jalapeno ale, and a rare coffee IPA.
What a perfect day!