A bright and sunny morning followed another evening of torrential rain in the St. Croix Valley. Sadly the rain didn't take all the moisture out of the air and the Sasquatch Dashers were left to splash through the puddles and creeks, and breath the heavy humid air.
Mixing it up a little bit, we offered two courses for this edition hoping that folks who would want to participate, but weren't interested in 7 miles would join in. As it turns out, all of the participants on this morning chose the long course. The course started similar to the last dash running up the Horizon Rock Trail in WI Interstate Park. Instead of an out and back though along the entire length of the Skyline Trail, we veered off down the Ravine Trail into the valley before circling back to cross the river and do the trails in MN Interstate Park.
|Hot Squatchers after the race.|
The men's race had some fireworks up front with Greg Atkinson taking ownership of "his trails" and taking it to the field. Normal favorite Alex was one of our want to be climbers and when he passed me coming back into WI I was pretty surprised to have him come from behind. Wrong turns aside though I think Greg probably had this one in the bag. We could see a real run for the overall title in the next few races.
On the ladies side we had low turn out again with just to ladies showing up. With Alex's wrong turn Tammi was able to put down the second fastest time overall.
On the men's side Alex is still comfortably in the lead and I am precariously hanging on to second over Greg. With the next race being the pursuit, scoring is a bit more of a crap shoot. A final showdown at the series finale with double the points on the line is going to make this a very interesting race between Greg and Alex.
On the ladies side Tammi is setting up for another dominating series performance this year. Starr and Dorinda have second and third through strong consistent performances. We could get some movement into the "podium" on the ladies side with a potential uptick in participation from the ladies.
Mullin's Race Report
Things have been heading in the right direction fitness wise the last few weeks. I've been on the ball with consistent volume, actual workouts, and I've even cleaned up the diet a little and started a little strength work.
I made the choice the night before to go participate in the CyclovaXC Friday Night Hill's group ride. I told the other guys at the base of the first climb (Cyclova Short Park Repeat) that I was going for that one and then soft pedaling the rest of the night. While I certainly didn't attack the rest of them, it is hard to soft pedal up those hills in the valley. In the end I hoped that two hours of climbing around on my bike didn't take too much out of me. While I probably limited my performance some, I don't think I changed the placing in the race.
I started the race in a group of four with Alex, Greg, and Tammi. It started out fairly tame through the campground. As soon as it pitched up though I soon found myself alone watching those three run away from me. I figured we would find a little water on the course, but I was surprised by the flowing creek we ran through on Horizon Rock. We had plenty of water throughout the course with a combination of standing water and running water in various places.
|Kevin's legs as evidence of the soggy conditions.|
Tammi stopped to grab a drink quick before getting on the River Trail on the MN side. I had a little gap after that, but I blew that with my wrong turn. We reached the MN park entrance at the same time where she grabbed another drink. I then promptly tripped on the VERY FIRST step. No damage done other than to take me out mentally momentarily.
|Not quite flat course. Over 800' of climbing.|
By the time I finished climbing the stairs to the Railroad Trail I was pretty tired. I was definitely more mentally in the game this time though and was able to find a gear and keep running. The stretch of the Railroad Trail that was in the sun was pretty brutal. By the time I hit 1st St in TF Tammi was already halfway across the bridge to WI.
|Pretty solid threshold level effort.|
I was going to challenge myself to run up all of the ladder tank. I made it about 2/3 of the way and just couldn't keep it up. It even took me a little bit back up on Washington to pull it together to finish the run in to the finish.
I'm pretty pleased with my effort and the lack of a mental lapse like the last Sasquatch dash.