2011 Rescue Run

Another January 1st, another New Year and time for the Rescue Run! This long standing Colorado Springs event (older then me and one of the oldest races in the region) is one of major fundraisers for the El Paso County Search and Rescue and a good way to start off the New Year. Since I'm hoping not to need those guys ever, I always try to make the Rescue Run. And the logo of the race is "Rain, Snow or 20 below," so despite the icy roads and near zero temperatures, runners were gathering in Palmer Park. For just getting back into running and not doing a stitch of speedwork, I have to be pretty happy with my race. Add in the ice and snow and treacherous conditions and things look even better. I did the 10k in 45:57 and was second overall. The woman's winner ran 43:40, so it wasn't a close race. But I had fun and love doing the Rescue Run.

When I got to Palmer Park in the morning, my car was telling me that the temperature was about 6 degrees. I had packed an entire bag of warm clothes so I had a nice selection to choose from. Ended up with my heavy duty tights, Craft shirt and wind block overshirt. Left my coat on for the warm up . as well as my uber heavy gloves and hat. I was not looking forward to the few minutes before the race - with thin hat and gloves. There were a few crazy nuts wearing shorts - in below 10 degree weather, I can't imagine even attempting to run in shorts! I was also wearing the Katula spikes on my shoes Nick bought me a few years ago. That was the best choice I made all day! With the amount of ice on the roads, I needed the spikes to be able to stay upright, let alone run! The only section of the course that wasn't in ice was the trail on Yucca Flats - that was loose foot packed snow.

Since I was there more to have fun then race, I started at a comfortable pace and didn't bother with my watch. There were a few women in front of me, but I gradually moved up through the field. Just was we started the first major hill, two women passed me. They were both moving well and I didn't feel like pushing that hard on the hill. Irritating my Achilles at a fun race was not part of my plan. At the fork between the 5k and 10k, one woman went each way. I was comfortably in second and figured I would stay there. Onto the dirt road and the footing deteriorated into loose, uneven snow. I slowed down a little, making sure I was being careful on the trail. I could see the lead woman and was not making any ground - in fact, she was slowly pulling away. Oh well. Back on the ice road and I was able to run a little better. I felt comfortable and tried pushing the pace a little. Without the speedwork, I didn't really have another gear at that point. So I maintained the pace I had set and cruised to the turn around. With the spikes, it was just like running on dry pavement, so I was able to float down the downhills. As usual, the last long loop around the parking lot seemed to take forever, but I managed to sneak in under 46:00. A good effort and a great way to start the New Year.

After the race, I quickly bundled back into my boots and warm coat. I was not going to freeze while waiting for my friends to finish! The EPCSR had hot coffee, hot chocolate and cider waiting for us as well, which made the post race socilizing much better. Unlike in prior years, they also did the raffle drawings while we were all out running, so we didn't have to stand around and freeze. So the first race of the season is in the books and I will look forward to next year as usual.


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