Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Planet Adventure Winter Night Trail Marathon

Finishing up loop #1
I ran in the Planet Adventure Winter Trail Night Marathon this past Saturday.  26.2 miles of night time trail fun.  Running on trails, in the woods with only a headlamp to light the way.  This race was going to be a good challenge for me to see how I was able to do running on trails in the dark.  Come April at the Indiana Trail 100 I am going to have to do a lot of night time trail running.  This was a good test for me to see how I did.  My goal going into this was to finish injury free.  I did have a time goal of under 4:30 but the main goal was finishing injury free.  Running in the dark on icy trails can be tricky.  I fell a few times and one time pretty hard on my right knee when I tripped on a root at about mile 22 but finished strong even after the fall.

Planet Adventure always puts on great races.  Running and Cycling races, they are one of the best.  The support was awesome and had great aid stations and outstanding volunteers and the course was very well marked.  The glow sticks along the trail were a nice touch to help show you the way.

Melissa and Sly finishing up the Half Marathon
We were to run 6.55 mile loops and there were 3 options for the race.  The Quarter Marathon, Half Marathon and the Full Marathon.  Of course I chose to do the full marathon.  As long as a race has a marathon option that is the one I will do. 

My wife Melissa and our friend Sly ran the Half Marathon here.  Melissa has been doing some trail running/races lately.  The last one she did was the Huff 10 mile run and then just less than a month later she is doing a trail half marathon.  Very proud of her for upping her game and trying new adventures.  Melissa and Sly looked great and finished strong in their Half Marathon.  Sly even finished strong with a hurt knee.  No excuses for her!! Super accomplishment for them both.

Melissa and Sly proudly displaying their finishers medals
Melissa and I before the race
I ran this race last year and did the half marathon.  I ran the half marathon last year in 2:20 and aimed to improve on that time even though I was running the full this year I still believed I could have a better half time than last year as well.  My first loop I did in 1:05 and felt great, second loop was a 1:05.  Can't get much more even splits than that can you!! That gave me a time of 2:10 at the half marathon point taking 10 minutes off of last years half marathon time.  Now the question was did I go out too fast?  The third loop I did a 1:09.  Still a pretty good loop and I was still feeling great.  I passed Melissa and Sly right before I was finishing up my 3rd loop and they were finishing up their half marathon.  It was awesome seeing them and it helped give me the push I needed to finish strong on that last lap.  I told them, "See you in about an hour and ten minutes!!"  Last loop felt great and I had a better time than the 3rd loop.  Finished the last loop in 1:08.  So the 2nd Half Marathon I did in 2:18 which was still faster than last years half marathon time.  The last loop was also the 10th fastest among all the marathon runners.  Really consistent run and very even splits all 4 laps.  I was not even tired after this run and feel I could have easily done over 50 miles tonight with no issues.  It is just an amazing feeling when you can see your training paying off.  I finished under my goal time with a 4:28 and 17th place overall.

It was a fantastic time and I can hardly wait to do it again next year!!
I finished in 4:28.  A little frosty but felt great.  I was ready to run some more loops!!