The second race of the 4th Season is always a fun affair that's markedly different from the first one. Taking place at Scarborough Beach, the course is faster and much less challenging than Old Mountain Field. It also has been fairly free of snow in past years, though the wind and temperature have made for some chilly outings. Today's temperature was almost balmy but the high winds brought it back to winter levels. A short warm-up on the beach confirmed that the wind would definitely play a part in the race.
After the warm-up I felt warm enough to go with just a singlet and gloves. The team competition looked to be between Rhode Runners and WTAC but once again RR brought out their speedsters who would certainly be favored on this course. Galoob gave us his pre-race spiel and we were off, running into the wind. The wind certainly slowed us down and everyone seemed content to hide behind Jackman and let him take the brunt of it. After the turnaround I was running beside a little guy who didn't want to let me pass. He hung with me and tried to cut in front of me but finally I got ahead of him. I passed another guy before the end of the beach section and once the sand got thick I was able to put some distance on them.
|The windy start - Photo by Scott Mason|
|Heading back down the beach with the wind assist - Photo by Jana Walker|
There was a Rhode Runner ahead of me and once we hit the Black Point trails I was able to reel him in. I passed him as the trail turned back towards the beach. The going got pretty muddy here and I began to slip quite a bit but managed to stay upright. Up ahead was a pack of three and I was slowly gaining on them but I was already working pretty hard. As we neared the beach the wind hit me and I knew the last 1/2 mile on the beach was going to be miserable. Running through the stone house is always fun and Scott Mason was there, taking great shots as usual.
As I jumped down to the beach I trounced through the wide stream since we were almost done. As in previous years I wore my minimal New Balance MT00s which always serve me well on this soft course. They also drain well. I was still gaining on the group of three, which now began to separate as the finish approached. I tried to find another gear but it was tough, the wind was making this last stretch a real chore. I didn't end of catching the guy in front of me but I almost reeled him and I was happy with the effort.
|The tiring finish - Photo by Jana Walker|
I finished over a minute slower than last year but much of that is due to the wind. There were no course PRs today. Rhode Runners took the men's competition easily again as we are without some of our fastest guys. Hopefully as the races get longer we'll be able to bridge the gap. The WTAC women once again took first so at least the ladies got to pocket some beer for their effort. My shin was pretty aggravated afterwards and it's been slow to recover. So far both of these short trail races have been brutal to my feet. At this rate I'm not sure if I'll survive the series!