5Peaks Albion Hills Sport – July 20th 2019
The third installment of the 5Peaks season was one that I saw on the calendar and knew it would likely be hell. July is a tough month to run in and unless there is unseasonably cold weather my extra pounds were going to make me pay! I was not wrong! The 6.5km Sport race gonna be a challenge.
The advertised weather was 30 degrees Celsius with a humidex of 40 degrees … my Klimat.app weather on my Strava said 27, feels like 30 but they are LYING! Sorry for being so excitable … it was a tough day.
As always pre-race emails were great. Lots of info and tons of warnings to the participants. Its going to be hot, prepare appropriately and judge how your body feels and be cautious when pushing yourself as the heat can knock you out.
The registration, vendors, water availability, etc. was once again well organized at the start. A real class event like the others.
Waiting to head out in one of the six waves of starters the sun unmercifully broke through the clouds further warming the starters. We knew we were in for trouble. There was talk that some over races were cancelled and perhaps this one should be … but this is trail racing. Its not like a road race where your pace can be predicted before hand and you can build out a plan for the whole race. On trails you need to take what is given to you and do what you can when you can.
Out of the gate there was a flat area then some early climbing, nothing crazy but just enough to spike my internal temperature and start the endless sweating.
I had full water bottles and focused on getting to the first water station consuming all that I had. An additional station was added due to the heat and it was needed.
I knew early this would be a day of hell and just tried to exert enough effort to keep a pace but not drive myself over the edge. Even in the first third of the race I reach a few times I need to walk to keep from redlining. The trail started wider and open and then narrowed into some single track.
The middle third of race was the type of trail running I like. A lot of single track, rolling hills, turns and shaded areas.
In this area is where I started to see people in distress. Two or three people were on the side of the trail with helpers tending to them. I quickly checked that they didn’t need either my help or my water and continued on.
Trail running is wonderful in how readily people are willing to throw their own race plans aside to help another runner.
The last third of the race consisted of descending out of the hills and picking up some wider sections of the trail and parts of the park returning to the start/finish.
Again, another section for setting a good pace to make up for some lost time would be the plan but on this day, I was struggling to be running at all and set a plodding pace.
Coming into the finish line there were paramedics tending to people and a lot of tired and exhausted runners.
Heading to the parking lot there was a fire truck and ambulance letting us all know how serious this sport can be.
Didn’t break any records on the day but went home healthy and happy!
After knocking 5Peaks on swag for the other races they DID deliver on this hat ... it looks even better on other people! High quality, fits well, works great for sweat avoidance ... and matches my bright personality!