Somehow it worked out that Team Library Dork was able to come together again this weekend - for the Burton Creek Trail Runs up at Lake Tahoe. This event is put on by Big Blue Adventure, and is part of their trail running series (they also do triatlhons and adventure races.) Although this wasn't a huge race, it sure was set up pretty well - with an inflatable finish line, fancy registration trailer with PA system, and lots of signage. Lots of races, too - there was a 5K, 10K, half and full marathons. I opted for the half; the other members of TLD went for the 10K.
Now, I had planned on running in a new pair of shoes - some Hi-Tecs I had picked up on closeout from REI. I had done a 4-miler the day before in them, and liked the way they felt - if anything, it was hard to get the speed lacing system tight enough. Sure enough, as I gave them a tug to tighten them up, the thin lace pulled right through one of the eyelets. Unfixable, and making the shoes useless to run in.
Fortunately, the Big Blue Events are sponsored by Merrell, and they had a tent there with a whole bunch of demo shoes. Their awesome rep Ashley very kindly set me up with a pair of the CT Converges to run in - brand new pair, pulled the tags right off. They felt a little snug, but I think that was more the thick trail socks I had on than anything else. After a few minutes in them, they felt ready to go. Nice and springy-new, too. Here's what they looked like before the race:
We had a little briefing, moved to the start area, and were off. The first half mile or so was a bit crowded, but eventually it thinned out as we climbed. And wow, was there some climbing. I can't imagine how this course didn't finish higher than it started - it felt like there was a lot more uphill than downhill. But the elevation profile says different:
The Big Blue Adventure folks seem to like loopy courses (from looking at the other maps on their site) and this was no exception. The half was pretty well marked - there were one or two places where I almost missed a turn when I didn't have anyone in sight in front of me, but managed to stay on course. Apparently there was a bit more confusion on the 5K/10K course. Here's what the half looked like:
That hill at about mile ten was a killer. Walked most of that; only got passed by one person. How he was running up it, I'm not sure.
I was watching my average speed on my watch, and figured I'd finish just over two hours. At the last aid station, though, they surprised me by saying I was only about half a mile from the finish. I pushed the last downhill section and finished in 1:55 something - and the distance on my GPS was 12.45 miles. Pretty short for a half, but oh well...
Now there was lots of waiting around for the results. We had some pretty good BBQ food, burgers and sausages, and shared a Dogfish Head Burton Baton in honor of the Burton Creek Run:
Played some cornhole as part of a contest at the Merrell booth. Here's Hannah taking a turn:
And finally they had some results ready. It turned out, for the first time ever, all of us got an age group award. (I'm usually the weak link, being in a tough age group.) Thanks to 5-year age groups, a lot of different races, and a small field. Anyway, Chris had won the 10K overall, Amber and Dave both got AG seconds, and I took a 3rd in mine. I now have a 3rd place pint glass to match the one that I got from Big Blue back at the Silver Sage Adventure Race in Reno way back in 2003. (?)
So here we are - bunch of goofballs...
We finished out the day with a quick soak in the very chilly Lake Tahoe, then a trip to Fifty Fifty Brewing in Truckee for lunch and beers. Then an aggravating drive through construction back to Reno, and some couch time to watch the US Open for me.
(I had forgotten my camera, so thanks to Dave for all the pics.)
Results have been posted. This page lists me as 2nd place AG finisher, 23rd overall. Hmmm. Wonder what happened there? I've still got the 3rd place glass...