Sunday, 2 October 2011

Dirty Second Half, Bend

This morning there was a great race in Bend which I ran a couple of years ago too, the Dirty Second Half. It follows on from the Dirty Half in June and has a slightly more difficult course, basically involving dirt and single track with a 750ft climb to half way then back down, plus lots of rolling trails along the way. As a bonus, Krissy Moehl was in town for a Patagonia shoot and ran the race so it was good to catch up with her and to make some new friends. I also wore a florescent North Face vest after the RD warned that hunting season has just started so try not to get shot. I was about the only one who opted to glow in the dark, but I certainly wasn't shot, despite hearing a lot of loud bangs.

I do plan to take things easy to get some decent recovery in, but I think my issue has just been too many long races (50 milers and longer) at too high an intensity and with too little a gap between them. I was sensible enough to not also run the inaugural Bend marathon the day before, but I was tempted. Mind you, seeing a guy finish the half there with bandages, blood and dirt all over him was a little worrying (he'd fallen hard somewhere and smashed his face!).

More short races is a good thing and they really don't leave you as wrecked, even with a significant level of effort. That feeling of (relative) speed is also a bonus as I've not had too much fast running recently and it's just plain fun to zoom along single-track and not have to save something in the tank for later.

The course starts outside Bend at the Seventh Mountain Resort and almost immediately has a short, steep downhill and uphill which gives a good idea of whether the legs feel good. Seven days off running meant my legs had recovered a bit and today was mainly fun running. I couldn't wait until the highest point so that the cruising could begin and the single-track on the way back was perfect for pure enjoyment. I ran much of it completely alone after the lead two guys flew off at an incredible pace.

Finishing was a relief, particularly that I'd felt ok most of the way. But the first two guys were so far ahead they weren't even around the finish any more (1:15 and 1:18 on a course that probably adds almost 10 minutes to your road half marathon time). 1:26 for third was a good result and makes me feel like I'll at least get through the race in Chile in two weeks. A good day out on the trails for everyone.

A few photos from the Footzone running store blog which show the types of trail in the race:

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