This is a repost from my personal blog:
I survived the Xterra 5K! Not only did I survive but I came in third place in my age group (45-50) and I out ran all of the (40-45) year old runners as well. My time was 36:23.
It was great fun, but a very challenging course. It started off along the flat part of the park, skirting the lake. But very quickly we made a hard right and headed to the hills. Of course, the hardest part was the initial climb. It was a very treacherous ascent which included a rope aided crawl up, for lack of a better term, a cliff face. It wasn't quite vertical, but still very steep.
Next we ran mostly uphill on a curvy path that had very sketchy footing. Many loose limestone rocks lay in wait along the way to twist your ankles, just to add to the fun. My legs began to burn and I have to admit that I felt like puking at one point, but I didn't. I did walk a short distance to get rid of the burn and catch my breath. But not that far. A little kid passed me and the motivation kicked back in and I began to run once more.
About half way through we ran a loop that mercifully sent us back down the hill the way we came. That's when I started feeling better, and even passing a few folks along the way. I was paced by the kid and a young lady. Keeping up with them kept me going at a pretty good clip. At one point I tripped the kid and pushed the young lady down a cliff and.....................just kidding. He wore himself out and had to stop. I passed her towards the end, climbing back down the steep cliff. She got tentative and I just jumped and slid hoping for the best. Fortunately I made it to the bottom without serious injury, passing the young lady and 5 or 6 others. I then ran as fast as I could towards the finish line. I passed two more people on the final flat part of the course. After crossing the finish line I bent down and couldn't talk or think for about 3 minutes. All I did was breathe.
I have to say I was surprised by my time. I was just hoping to get in under 45 minutes and live through it. The race sure beats the heck out of the treadmill, or running through the hot city streets. The terrain was the great equalizer. All those elite street runners got beat down by the trail. I'm just a hack runner so the trail didn't bother me that much.
In conclusion, I loved it and will be back next year to win, at least my age group. Thanks again for following my quest.
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." Thomas Foxwell Buxton