An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trail fun

I finally finished a trail race this past Sunday. The Ft. Stielacoom Trail Run. I did the 10K race, because I wasn't ready to try to pump out a half-marathon or longer (not that I'd want to go longer). My wife did the 5K.

I say "finally" because I DNF'd the Soaring Eagle race earlier this year, which was to be 10 miles. I made it about 4 before bailing due to mis-stepping and injuring my foot. I've learned...

I wore the Altra Instincts for this run, mostly because I thought it was still a bit rocky to wear the Merrell Trail Gloves. I know there are some minimalist purists out there who would scoff at that idea, but I've found the Trail Gloves to be a bit thin for most anything but soft dirt/loam trails. In that environment, they shine, but once the rocks show up, my tender soles start complaining.

With the rains we'd had the two days previous (which only abated a few hours prior to race time), I was worried about lots of mud on the course, but the course was fine with the exception of some water-logged lawn
surrounding the registration/food area.

The course was two loops of just barely over 5K, with one good hill in the middle, and lots of twists and turns on the way back down. I managed to slog out a pace just a little under 7:30 a mile, even after a bee sting to the back of the neck on lap one.

At the post-race expo, there was a LOT of food and drink. Vasque and Vibram were there with their footwear offerings, and I tried on some Vibram FiveFingers just to satisfy my curiosity. Yup, as I suspected, they're made for people with shorter toes than mine -- by the time I got the overall length right, the ball of my foot fell into the cutaway in the arch. This is similar to what happens with the Trail Glove, and I hope that Merrell extended that area rearward in the Road Glove and Bare Access. We'll see.

The atmosphere surrounding the race was very relaxed, lots of fun. I can see myself doing more of these.

Oh, and just before we started, there was a guy who ambled through the start/finish. The RD/announcer told us all his name, that he's 73, and that he was doing the 50K... His fourth with them this year, and tenth for the year... so far. Amazing!

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