Saturday was the Down and Dirty trail race on the Buckeye Trail in the Brecksville Reservation. The singletrack / running, hiking trails in that area are beautiful and great to run on. I didn't realize that there was so many miles of singltrack there. Lot's of ups and downs in the race with a long steep climb of about 3/4 of a mile at between a 15-17% grade then it flattened out to about 2-3% for another 1/2 mile or so. All in all there was nearly 465' of elevation gain in this race and it was only 5.2 miles. We warmed up well enough running on the North side of Valley Parkway for about a mile and a half then it was time to line up. The gun went off and we were off on a short stretch of asphalt bike trail until we hit the dirt. It was a fast first mile too, my first mile was under 7 minutes and for trail running thats not too bad. I settled into a pace that was uncomfortable but one that I could hold for a 5 mile race. I ran the uphills pretty strong and recovered at the top and felt like my legs were turning over nicely. I was running with John Ralston who moved from Erie PA to Painesville last year, who is also a triathlete, trail runner, adventure racer and we were keeping the tempo high when he put in a surge with a little less than a mile to go and I could not close it on him. I did pick up the pace to anerobic and passed another runner shortly after John passed me and I ended up running through the finishing chute in 38:50, good for 3rd Master and 15th overall.
Nate was 1st Master 12th overall, John was 2nd 14th overall, and me 3rd 15th overall. Nice podium sweep.
Tony went out hard and was running up front the whole race and finished 6th overall with a 7:01 avg, pretty good for this hilly course!
Julie was 1st Female Master and 6th overall woman, another great result for her, After we finished, Tony, Nate and I did another 2 1/2 miles on the trails for a 9 mile day of great trail running.
Sunday was the first Spring Valley Series bike race. I knew from the start my legs weren't going to be up for the challenge of a fast bike race since I had almost 30 running miles in my legs for the week and most on hilly trails, so I was just going to sit in and get some fast bike work in. I rode in the large Masters / B group and when we rolled out of the parking lot of Old Trail School we were already at 25+ mph before we hit the first little bump past the scorers area, dang! Everybody was throwing down on the back side and I was a little tenative with the roads being wet so I moved to the rear of the group which was a mistake because on the left hairpin turn at the bridge some guys clipped pedals and the front of the race took off. I slowed way down to avoid going down myself, lost contact with the lead group and said see ya later. We formed a group of about 10 or so and eventually some fell off the back and for the most part of the ride we had 6 guys. We ended up catching a group that fell off the lead and we rolled in together with the group just having to sprint it out for 100th or so place. I couldn't just roll in last so I got in the sprint too and ended up 2nd. in our bunch.
I wish I would have stayed in the lead group and finished with a faster pace but oh well we ended up with a 23mph avg. I know I'm not going to be winning any bike races this road season, it's just good bike training for triathlon. After the race I laced up the shoes and ran the course for a week running total of over 35 miles, almost 9000 meters in the pool and 100 miles on the bike.