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Friday, September 4, 2009

Valle Crucis 7 miler Race Preview

The time is nigh.

At 8am sharp- or close enough, tomorrow morning an undetermined number of runners (the number being undetermined, not the runners necessarily) will toe the line, or the heel, before them, for the Valle Crucis 7 miler. This is the second of the HCSA Triple Crown Series.

Crown point number one was the Valle Crucis 25k. That day was part of the training run up to my first 50k. Tomorrow, I will continue some of the sharpening in the upward slope for Goblin Valley50k to be run in October.

The 7 mile course is mostly rolling, with many flat sections but does make its way up and up at about 3 miles before finally cresting a steep ridge at 5 miles on a 20+% grade. I ran the loop on Wednesday evening under the near full moon and was just floored at some of the beauty of th edistant mountains and the valleys just below. The course then flows steeply down, down, down... before getting back to a slight roll and flat to the loop's completion.

Goals you ask... well I have goals.
  1. Enjoy the morning and run consistently and with strength and quickness.
  2. Can I break 43 minutes?
  3. Can I go 2 for 2 in the triple crown's top spot for 2009?

Goal number one is always goal number one... because as we know this is about the only thing we can have the illusion of control over. The rest is largely dependent on who else is there and what kind of race this shapes out to be. I do like to get out front, but since I run solo most of the time in training, I also like to get in some group stuff during races, especially early. After running the course I have some ideas about where my strengths will lie and more importantly where my weakness will be. There can be no confusion here though, this IS a race!

Generally the idea for me is to run efficiently on the rolls, fast on the flats and at a steady effort on those BIG ups (and downs).

Can someone get away and hide tomorrow? If they can get out quick, maintain an effort and reach that apex with a sizable gap... then the race could be won right there...

or, a runner could sit back and wait for others to fall off, then surge as the downhill subsides and the course again rolls in the final mile. Essentially the run comes down to fitness versus fitness. I know what my level is and look forward to another challenge this week! First though, I need to allow my self to be its best.


  1. Best of luck! I know you'll have a great time.

  2. So, I am pretty much a road racer 100%, but I still am still always amazed at some of the grades that you are looking at. 20%?! Wow.

    Good luck out there. I'm sure that in a race like this, getting out in front first is really important.

  3. Here in this area of NC, there are a lot of short, steep hills. These are abrupt and a kick in the gut usually. On the bright side there are not as many long grinds as in other areas of the country. It is difficult to find a hill of more than three miles around here. Compared to terrain out west this is just kind of "spikey" as it affects the heart rate... good for hill repeats amidst the daily route I suppose.


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