Medved Trail Madness (The Muddy Everything Else)

Combine a colder than normal winter, later than normal arrival of spring weather (is 45 spring weather?) and a few weeks of daily rain and you get one soggy race.  Sunday was the Medved Trail Madness 15 miler, and while it was pancake flat compared to the Muddy Sneaker 20k it had more than enough water and mud to make up for the lack of mountains.

mud

The race consists of 3 loops around Mendon Pond Park.  Each loop present its own challenge, most of which had to do with getting wet but some involved hurdling trees.

The first loop toured the NE section of the park and featured the only significant climb, about 200 feet over a mile.  It also involved many a hurdle especially through the pine grove pictured below.

woods

You know it is a bit breezy when there are white caps on 100 Acre Pond!

lakeAt the end of the first lap the course designers setup a shoe washing station, which was perfect for clearing off our mud caked shoes and legs and also helped cool us off on this balmy 40 degree morning.

waterrun

Lap 2 was the least soggy lap, which looped around the NW portion of the park.  It also featured lots of little ups and downs making it hard to get into any kind of a rhythm.1402836898

The final lap was basically run through a swamp.  It featured a loop around Quaker Pond in the South section of the park.  This is actually the area I’m most familiar with, but I have never seen it so under water.  The distance and mud started taking their toll and my hip flexors were screaming with ever little uphill.  I was leading the race but had no idea by how much.  I was afraid that after leading for over 90 minutes someone was going to blow by me in the last few miles as I tried unsuccessfully to keep under 7 minute pace.

cardiac

The final blow by the race course was a 3rd trip up cardiac hill (I think every high school cross country course has a cardiac hill) in the last .5 miles of the race.  Once I reached the top of that hill I was done racing, my legs were shot which was actually perfect timing, it was a mere few hundred meters to the finish all down hill.  I crossed the line in first place with a time of 1:41:04 which was 6:44 pace.  I have no idea if that is good or bad for this course, in large part because the course is a bit different every year, and on a dry year times would be much faster.  I’m sure guys like Jeff Beck or Neal Holtschulte have blazed it much faster than I ever could, but on Sunday my best effort was good enough to win and I can’t ask for more than that.

awardsI’m taking a break from trail racing for a bit but I’ll be back at it late June and again in July.  next up is the Corporate Challenge where I hope to split my 5k PR during the 3.5 mile race and then it’s the McMullen Mile, my favorite race of the year!  Maybe some of these trail runners will do what I did and cross over to try something different, get on the track and run your guts out for 4 laps (plus 9 meters).  I promise you, us track guys like beer as much as any trail runner and we get to start drinking it so much sooner.

I huge thanks to Michael Lesher for the taking the photos.  He is selling prints from the race and high res digital downloads.

hazelhugMedved Trail Madness 2014 Results

 

Medved 5k to Cure ALS

Some how I have missed this race the last 3 years.  The race starts out in front of Frontier Field were the Rochester Red Wings (the Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate play) and finishes with a lap around the warning track  ending at home plate.  It has traditionally been one of the more competitive 5k’s in town with the winning time generally in the mid 14’s and a steady stream of runners from 16:00 up.  This year the field was a bit thin, and so was the prize pot.  The cash awards had been cut from top 5 to top 3 and as Jeff and I looked around at the start we thought we each might have a shot at some of that money.

Talking about all the cash we could win.

I was uncertain how I would run.  I had a cold (I still have one as I am writing this) but I had also had some really good workouts since the disaster of the McMullen Mile.  The cold was mostly above the shoulders so I thought I had a shot at running a good race on this flat course.  I was going with the same plan I used at the corporate Challenge, get out with the leaders and hold on.

Hoping for a fast start.

Jeff got out to the early lead with, Mark Andrews, Patrick Geoglegan, and I right behind him.  We stayed in a tight pack for most of the first mile, but I was already struggling to breath just a few minutes into the race.  Just before the 1 mile mark as we rounded a corner Mark and Patrick broke away leaving Jeff and I to flounder alone into a stiff head wind.  At the 1 mile mark Jeff was a few seconds ahead of me in about 5 flat.

Jeff running in 3rd place a bit after the 1 mile mark.

Things fell apart for me quickly after the 1 mile.  I let Jeff open up a gap and I just couldn’t bring myself to work on closing it.  I ran mile 2 in 5:36, the slowest split in a 5k in the last several years, only to top that with a 5:42 3rd mile.

No man’s land.

Over the next 2 miles Jeff remained about 15 seconds ahead of me and the chase pack about 15 seconds behind.  I was running in limbo, instead of racing I was just running to be done with the race.  I’m going to chalk up this total lack of motivation to being sick.

Crawling to the finish.

 

Somehow I did not lose any placement during this crawl to the finish, and I would like to think if someone had come up and challenged me I could have rallied for a finishing kick.  I finished in 4th place with a time fo 16:53.  This was good enough for an age group win and 12 points in the Rochester Runner of the Year Series.  Full Results Here.

 

 

Side Notes: 

There was also a number of kids races which Hazel was very excited to race in.  We have been going to the track lately so she could race and she was talking about running her race all morning.  She had  on her racing socks, racing sneakes, and racing hair tie (although she ripped off her racing bib.)  A feature of the 5 and under kids race was running with “Spikes” the Red Wings mascot, this I’m sure was meant to be exciting for the children, but it turns out Hazel is absolutely terrifed of the giant red birds.  She refused to go any where near Spikes, which was a problem as he was starting in the middle of the pack of kids running the 50 yard dash.  Hazel would not let go of me anytime the bird came within 50 feet of her.  The experience was so tramatic that when she woke up this morning the first thing she said to me was “where is bird? I’m scared of the bird!”  We clearly will not be going to Disney Land anytime soon.

Scary Bird.