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Mullin's Running In The Ruff 10k Race Report


When I last left you, I had just completed my first ultramarathon and I was discussing learning to walk again and Almanzo.  The learning to walk thing came back pretty quickly actually and I had sort of forgotten about this race.

The day after Chippewa Starr and I couldn't resist the beautiful weather and had to hit the Woolly trails.  And by hit, I mean we spun as easily as possible for about 40 minutes.  We also took a leisurely stroll of about a mile and a half.  Just something to get the joints working and blood flowing.

My first run was Tuesday evening and I went for just under 3 miles on the Allemansratt trails in Lindstrom.  Mile one was pretty painful, but the rest of it was pretty nice once the joints stopped protesting.

Allemansratt trails in Lindstrom.

After a CyclovaXC Wednesday night sprint ride where my legs felt pretty sapped, the rest of the week was a progression of 4 and 5 mile runs where I felt pretty good.

Starr did this race last year.  It was a complete mud fest.  Think 100+ yard long stretches of knee deep water, shoe sucking mud, etc.  This year, it wasn't going to be like that.  MUCH much drier.  I'm pretty familiar with these trails, though I hadn't done the course in this direction before, nor have I ever run hard here before.  Add in some warmer temperatures and one week post 50k, I didn't have many goals other than to run to the best of my abilities on the day.


The race starts on some flat rails-to-trails snowmobile trail for just under a quarter mile before diving into the gnarly, pitchy single track.  Just like with any other local race, this race also had a pair of little kids sprint off the line.  Unfortunately for me, they still made it to the single track ahead of me and I then had to pass them without breaking an ankle or getting whacked in the face with a branch.

I was in roughly 12th upon entering the single track, not counting the two that only barely came up to my elbow.  I just focused on running clean and not breaking anything through the first half a mile or so of single track.  People were already starting to string out and a few already fading from too fast a start.  I think I passed two people in addition to the short people.

Upon exiting the single track, the rest of the race was going to be either on double track or "wide single track".  You can reasonably get two people side by side on most of the trail, but there is only really one good line.  I picked up another three places or so through about 2.5 miles.

I was monitoring my HR through here and it was in the low 180s.  With a max of 192 I was pretty sure I was over doing things.  I ran a 5k a few weeks ago and averaged 180.  I tried to back off at this point, but that is pretty hard to do.  There was a gal and a guy who I was yo-yo-ing behind by 0 to 10 meters or so through about mile 4.

About mile 4 I managed to latch on and stick finally.  I was tempted to pass, but still seeing 180+ ever time I checked I knew I was running at about my limit.  At 4.75 miles (about 1 mile from the finish on this short course), there was a trail intersection that wasn't attended.  It was where the 2 mile and 10k course diverged and there really should have been an attendant.  I had moved into the middle and the guy in front started down the 2 mile course.  I yelled at him to come back.  Given that the three of us were essentially running together I eased up to let him get back in.  He surged and I thought he was going to pull away.

That surge was short lived however and a quarter mile later I pulled into the lead of the trio.  I knew exactly where we were going at this point and was just letting my legs run out.  I really didn't think I was running much faster than I had been previously, but in post race review of the data I apparently was.  I also had apparently pulled quite a gap as we hit the bridge over the Rum River I took a quick look back and there wasn't anyone there.

I didn't pull out a full sprint for the finish as there was no need.  I strode it out though and finished the 5.6 mile (10k) in 46:46.

Post Race

Full results aren't posted yet, so I'm not certain of my final overall place.  I suspect I was around 6th.  I ended up 3rd in my age group.  2nd blew me out of the water around mile 3.

The end of the day I'm pretty pleased with the race execution.  I impressed myself with the level of effort I was able to put out for that length of time.  I'm pretty sure that level of effort would have been faster had it not been 1 week out from a 50k, but that's ok.

What's next?  Tuesday night, weather permitting, I'm hoping to hit the track in SCF for a little 3000m time trial.  I'm setting some benchmarks to measure myself against over the course of the summer and fall as I eye the 2016 Birkie.  I'll be throwing something up on FB here on that I think if anyone wants to join me.  Otherwise it really is Almanzo next followed by a Sasquatch Dash and then... not sure.

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