This was another little trail run that I was turned onto by Ross. He is a master at finding this runs. There are more here in Iowa than you would think. We had also designated this run a "meetup" between our chapter of Team Red White and Blue and the Des Moines Chapter. Even though I have been battling some Achilles issues this was a must do for me.
So I woke up about 0430 and made the 2 hour drive the start in Johnston Iowa. When I arrived it was minus 2 degrees and it wouldn't get much warmer. I checked in and got my race number etc.. Then everyone sat in their cars until it was time to get into the school buses for the ride to the start. I did make some small talk through an open car window with Ross and Julia. I also saw and introduced myself to Brandon the Chapter Captain from the Des Moines Chapter. Eventually we piled into the buses, continuing the small talk until we got dumped off at the start. The RD made a small speech and he also allowed Brandon to plug Team RWB. All the Veterans and Team RWB members huddled together for a quick picture as we shivered in the sub zero temps.
With a Ready, Set, Go!!! the RD set us off on our journey. Initially we ran about .5 miles through the grass and ditch on the side of a road, but then we popped up into a small gravel parking lot at a trail head and we hit the single track. The race course would end up being relatively flat and non technical. A really fast course as trail runs go. I had hoped to break 80 minutes for the course but I finished the first 2 miles in sub 8 minute pace so I was looking faster. The race was pretty uneventful I passed some people and others passed me. It was so cold that I had to use my asthma inhaler for the first 5 miles as my chest kept getting tight and then relaxing. I set my sights on this guy ahead of me in black. My mission was to run him down. At one point he was probably about 30-45 seconds ahead of me. I eventually passed him about mile 6.5.
We did hit a paved section for about 1.5 miles that really aggravated my Achilles/hamstring. I felt like I should be running faster on that segment but I decided to keep it steady. I was glad to hit the trail again with about 1.8 miles to go. I was breathing steady by this time and as I saw the bridge across the river and the building that I thought was by the finish I picked it up as I could. I burst out of the trees and headed the last 50 meters across open ground to the finish. I did get passed int hat last 50 meters by some guy who came up huffing and puffing behind me. I hate when people do that. Put out an effort during the whole race don't pass someone at the last minute unless you have been neck and neck the whole way. Just irritates me for some reason. Anyway it was a good effort as I finished the race in 1:01:28 and came in second in my age group. Ross won the race out right and Julia also won her age group. We got these cool little logs as prizes. I will do this race again next year.