|First mile was on the road allowing everyone to spread out.|
Just back from a great trip to Bend where Amy and I used to live. Oregon is such a perfect place for trail running and the Dirty Half is now in its tenth year and is a top-class race which I did last year too. Great long weekend seeing friends and favorite restaurants (so many of both).
It was a new course and was also the USATF National Trail Half Marathon Championship for the second time, meaning lots of fast runners. At some point I'll race this one but it was more sensible to use it as a WS training run and sit back and enjoy the ride. I layered up with as many jackets and warm tops as possible to get a reasonable fat suit look and hoped it'd be a hot day on top of that.
It was sunny and warm, providing near perfect running conditions but maybe a little hot towards the end for fast running. So I started at the back of the first wave and was comfortable for the first five miles but then started to feel the heat. The course had some steep sections and I doubted whether the winners would break 1:15 by much. Only one person did, local Max King, who had won the race multiple times before. A great recap of the whole race is on Scott Dunlap's blog here. All results here.
I was nowhere near the sharp end of the race but kept up an even pace to finish in 1:44. The heat got to me and plenty of volunteers and supporters seemed concerned that I was wearing too much, but everything that makes the heat feel easier in less than two weeks is worth it. Combining this with torturous sauna sessions is hard but worthwhile and the big showdown at Squaw Valley looks like being pretty special.