Tejas Trails, Bandera 25k
Texas Hill Country
Jan 10, 2015
I am writing this report over a month later and that photo above is what Bandera looked like the week before the race— sunny, and a beautiful Texas winter day. I was excited to run this race again and had 3 goals; beat my time last year, win my age group and place higher overall. I accomplished 1 of the 3.
Woke up to cold rainy weather (cold for Texas!) It was 23 degrees, which that didn’t scare me, I was concerned about the ice and slippery rocks. The course is all rocks, slipping on mud & ice makes for a fun race. NOT! When I arrived at the race there was still a steady cold drizzle and the “parking lot” was already full of mud and cars were getting stuck. I grabbed my bag and headed for the start area where I ran into Roy Pirrung the Legend and Traci Falbo. Roy wasnt racing for once and Traci, a fellow Hammer athlete and total badass beast was racing the 100k. It was nice to finally meet her in person, she is super cool and had just recently held the 100 mile U.S. record. You can read about her here http://tracifalbo.blogspot.com. Me and Traci early in the morning pre-race #howwehammer
I tried to get a good start so I wouldn’t be stuck in the bottleneck single track at the beginning. And I got my fall out of the way pretty early on, around mile 5 or 6 I tripped on a rock and went flying, I didn’t even trip on a downhill or ice— just my own two feet. I had just put my gloves back on and that helped cushion my palms but my knee hit a few rocks pretty hard but I got right back up and kept going. The course had become so muddy from the previous nights rain that runners were falling and slipping all over the place.
somewhere along the only flat part I regained my composure, ate a hammer gel and pushed on trying to hit my goals. The drizzle had let up only to return the last 5 miles of my run. My legs were getting heavy running with caked mud so I popped a couple Energy Surge which I had never tried in a race. First time I tried an energy surge I swallowed it and nothing happened. My coach, also a Hammer athlete, reminded me I needed to let it dissolve under my tongue and thats what I did this time. Holy cow they worked because with 5k left in the race it was a mud fest and I had a sudden burst of energy running thru a mud trail slipping and sliding. Some guy in the trail told me I was 7th or 8th female and that encouraged me to pick it up even more. I was running with a couple 16 yr old kids who came out with their cross country team, both kids were running the longest they have ever raced. It was funny listening to them talk about how faaaar this was and how they were beating the coach! When we hit the last aid station I told the kids we only had about 1/2 mile to go– so lets push it. OMG 1 kid took off sprinting!! left me in the mud!!! I rounded the turn in the trail and heard my name — it was my dad cheering for me– which I was surprised because I didn’t think anyone was coming out to cheer in cold miserable weather. Right at that turn with 400 meters to go a girl comes from nowhere and passes me. ohhhhhhhhhhh no! where did she come from. I had been running alone, besides those 2 kids for awhile. I pushed so hard that last 200 and came in 4 hundredths of a second behind her. I took one look at her and knew she was in my age division. Yup- she was and won our Age Div which I wanted so bad!!! I wanted that donkey award!! I took 2nd in Age Div, again, and my time was 3 minutes slower than last year, but I did place higher overall – 7th female up from 10th last year. 1 out of 3 goals isn’t so bad I guess.
These are my different faces. I went from being mad to annoyed to just cold. Was much happier in my dry clothes. Until next time Bandera……