Sunday, November 21, 2010

2010 Raven Rock Rumble

Runners enter the trail at the start of the 10 miler.
Women's winner Leslie Beckwith is in the white shirt.
I have no idea how Shannon got this shot
The Raven Rock Rumble is one of our favorite races, and Shannon and I have run the 10 mile option all four years it has been put on (last year's report here).
Despite this, I managed to make a wrong turn in the first quarter mile.

Shannon had her camera this time (All her photos are here), and managed to capture my brilliant maneuver.
The race starts on the road, and then quickly turns down a narrow, downhill trail.

As you can see above, I was behind the guy on the bike. This means I started out way too fast, because I have no business leading a race. He turned around and said "turn right onto the trail here".
I immediately turned right onto the trail, followed by 4 or 5 guys.
Unfortunately it was not the trail. In fact, it wasn't even a trail at all. I led everyone just straight into the woods.

Me returning from my forest detour
So if you are ever are behind me at a race, don't follow me. Even if I have run the race 3 times before, and I am following the lead bike, and he's telling me where to go, I will still make a wrong turn.

In my defense, the Raven Rock course changes slightly every year, because of construction and maintenance at the park. This year the finish line was moved again, and the course was about half a mile shorter than last year.
Trail races are never exact, and there is no point in comparing them to road races. But if you have run Raven Rock several times here are the approximate distances, based on a poll of GPS watches after each race:

2007: 10.4 miles
2008: 9.6 miles
2009: 10.2 miles
2010: 9.75 miles

Heiko cruising down the steep Fish Traps trail
I met Tom and Matt at the race last year. Last year was Matt's first race ever. This year, he returned for his second race ever. I guess if you only do one race a year, Raven Rock is not a bad choice.
Tom finished in 5th place, and was 7 minutes faster than last year. That's what turning 40 will do for you.

Shannon fell and banged her knee on a rock, scoring a tiny bit of "trail love". She was disappointed with paltry amount of blood.

Rodney on the right. Me on the left sporting the kick ass
Montrail hat Shannon scored as a door prize.
Hard to find a hat that fits my voluminous melon 

Rodney made a triumphant return to Raven Rock, after breaking his ankle at the race last year. He ran without fear, finishing 9th overall. Great comeback Rodney! Congrats!

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