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Greenland 25k Race Recap

My first trail race!  And my first race recap!  I should start by saying, this is the first race I ran without a PR in mind.  There were several reasons for this.  I just ran a 1/2 marathon two weeks ago where I was really pushing myself to break 2 hrs (ended up with a 2:01:27).  I also donated blood this past Tuesday at the local blood bank.  And I knew I wanted to stop along the way and take pics, since I was going to be blogging about the race.  So I went in to this race, knowing I was going to take it "easy" :-)

Having said all of that, this race was way harder than I expected!  The website describes the course as such:  "With wide, smooth double track trails, the Greenland Trail 50K is a very fast course and also very beginner friendly."  Yes it's true the course was wide and smooth.  Yes it's true it's not a technical course (no rocks or roots to run over).  Yes it's true there is a nice downhill...after you climb Mt. Everest that is.

Funny thing is, I think the heat had more to do with it.  Because after looking at my Garmin data, the course did not have *that* much of a climb after all:

 

It looks like a lot of elevation, but it's really only 300ft.  I guess I should describe the course a little more at this point.  The Greenland race takes place in Larkspur, CO.  It's at an open space park.  The trail is open to the public and during the race we saw at least one mountain biker and a few hikers.  Apparently people ride their horses there too, because even though there were no rocks or roots to look out for, there was definitely plenty of horse poop throughout the race!

The race is one loop if you're doing the 8m.  Two for the 25k and four for those crazy people that run the 50k (I say crazy, but I'd love to be able to say I did one some day).

The biggest problem with the course is that there is no shade.  And with the temps already around 55F at 7:30 (race start for the 25k'ers), it got hot really quick.  The high was 86F for the day and even though it didn't get to 86F during the race it was 70-ish by the time the race ended (according to the temp reading in the car when we left the race).

So on to the race.  Or at least the line at the porta-potty with 5 minutes to go before race start!!!

Luckily, the announcer said several times over his bullhorn, "If you are in line and are running the 8m, it would be really nice if you could let any 25k runners ahead of you since their race starts in 5 minutes".  Nicely enough a bunch of ladies at the front did just that.  So I made it to the start with about 45 seconds to spare :-)

And then we were off:

It was very slow at the beginning as usual with most races.  Takes a mile or so for everyone to find their pace and start thinning out.  But really the thinning out happens during the switchbacks that climb about 300ft:

Unfortunately you can't really tell in this picture, but there are actually people in this picture in the distance running the switchbacks up in to the "trees".  I say "trees" because you probably run through about 100 feet of shade total during the whole course.

I will say that the views were spectacular.  At one point I noticed a really really nice house with some nice land, kind of buried away and hidden away from the world:

But during the second loop I noticed it had a rather large parking lot in front of it, which leads me to believe it's more of a lodge or some other business and most likely not a house.

The weirdest part about the second loop was this:

I'm not sure but it looks like a grave.  And what makes it weird?  Well I did not see this the first time around the loop...and apparently neither did other racers.  I was taking this photo as a racer went by me and said "I didn't see that there the first time around".  And I replied, "Neither did I, which is what scares me!"  Did one of those crazy 50k runners not make it?  Ha!

After the switchbacks and the wonderful run through the "trees" (Ha!), the course finally gets fast.  And it really is fast.  A very nice long downhill.  They even had signs for the Mt. Bikers, although I'm pretty sure it was meant for me as well:

All in all, it was actually a great race.  I've heard that this race has taken place in anything from snowing, almost freezing weather, all the way to what it was like this year.  I'd love to catch this race on a year when it's somewhere in the middle :-)

As for my time, I ended up finishing in 2:54:40 which was apparently good enough for 39th in my age group.  Was there only 40 people my age group running?  I'm going to have to look in to that.

Comments   

 
0 #1 tricia 2012-05-06 11:09
Love race recaps with lots of pictures and descriptions. :) congrats on a great race!
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