Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring Racing Season, Part 4: George Wyth 5K Mud Run, Cedar Falls, IA, May 17, 2014

Saturday morning I finished the Spring racing season by running the George Wyth 5K Mud Run along with my two oldest sons.  This was their first race of the year, and my fourth in the last 8 weeks.  Fortunately, it was also the shortest race of the four.  In fact, I commented to my wife when I got home, this is the best that I have felt after a race all Spring...probably because it was only a 5K!

Yet, it was also one of my best finishes of the season, which totally rocks!  Praise God!  

The start of the 2014 George Wyth 5K Mud Run
This year's race was two laps and probably 97%+ trail, with most of that being single-track.  There were several places where because the trail was snaking through the woods, you could see both the racers ahead and behind you.  A new section of trail had been cut and broken in that allowed us to eliminate what use to mean running on road and through a parking lot in order to get back to the start of the trail for the second lap.  This new section of trail really made this year's course feel complete.  I have done this race about 5-6 times, and this year's course was one of, if not, the best course overall.  There wasn't as much mud on the course as you would have thought with some of the rains we had recently, but we did still run through one good water spot.

I wanted to push hard in this race, but wasn't sure how a solid training week and 3 longer endurance races this Spring would effect me.  Fortunately God shined His favor down on me, and I had a great race.  I started out a little quicker than maybe I normally would, but found the right pace eventually.  I pulled through the first lap feeling in pretty good shape, but definitely knowing I would have to pray and endure a fight through the second lap.  I was a little bummed to get passed in the last 1/3-1/2 mile, fearing that the individual who passed me was probably going to be 3rd place in my age division.  But, I fought on and ended up 3rd in my age division!

Finishing up the first lap!  (Furthest to the left, in green.)

As I finished, I was asked what my distance was and if I would mind going back out and rerunning the last section of the course and compare it to a road stretch through the park.  Apparently several people in the top ten missed a turn and ran the wrong way.  So, already having pushed hard, I ran the two stretches so comparisons and time differences could be made to correct times as closely as possible.  Now I was really tired!  As I finished this, I saw Aaron, who had finished in just under 32 minutes, breaking his goal of under 35!  Matthew came in last overall, but fought hard to finish!  We ended up 14th, 31st, and 49th.

Aaron running hard!

Aaron won 1st male in his age division, beating out his brother who was second! As they both received jars of dirt, (appropriate trophies for a mud run), I realized, prizes were only two deep!  Oh well!  I had a great race and a great time with my boys!  God blessed all of us with a good race and a beautiful day.

Matthew, myself, and Aaron after they received their jars of dirt!

This race supports CVAST, Cedar Valley Association of Soft Trails, a group that does much of the work to maintain these trails and make events like this happen.  Since most of Iowa is covered in corn and soybeans, we are very fortunate to have a group like this that allows those of us who hike, trail run, and mountain bike to do so on such well maintained and constantly growing trails.

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