Saturday, October 8, 2011

2011 Cactus Cha Cha Race Report

Chip Time: 1:19 (pace 11:27)
Distance: 7 miles
Location: White Tank Regional Mountain Preserve Competitive Track, West Phoenix

What a beautiful venue. someone should take photographs of it.

Thanks so much to the organizers and volunteers who all helped to make this a smooth fun event. There were something like 600 or 700 people out there and about 1/2 of them ran the 3 mile children's bunny course while the other half ran the 7 mile adult black diamond Wildcat course. I chose the later because that is just who I am. I had listed "trail run/race" as one of my new year resolutions, so this fit the bill perfectly for that. Having never run in a  trail race before, I selected my skimpiest sluttiest RTP outfit to hopefully disguise my novice status.
Dirty Girl
This race was started "because we just like to run". There is no special charity or person that the funds are dedicated to, so the price stays cheap. I headed out the door this morning at about 5:45 to make the drive to the West side of Phoenix and made it to the starting area in about 30 minutes. The race didn't start until 7:30, so there was plenty of time to hit the PJ. Since I had chicken wings and 2 slices of pizza last night, this was a priority. Sorry for the defilement beautiful Arizona desert. The 3 milers started at 7:15, and we started at 7:30 without much fanfare. I did the first couple of miles conservatively at about 11:00, then we went uphill on a singletrack, so even if I could have gone faster, we were in a soul train of 11:15'ers. The ups and downs reminded me of several other Maricopa county trails. Mostly sandy and flat with some rocks thrown in just enough to prevent you from looking up. There were some mandatory walks due to traffic on the singletrack, and some mandatory walks due to low endurance on my part, especially for varying paces. That almost never happens on my street running, but in this trail race we were bouncing up and down the pace zone throughout.

After the race was over, I chatted for a while with Nathan, owner of the soon to open Tortoise and the Hare running store in Glendale. Nathan was there as a volunteer and let me just say the volunteers were great at each aide station. This seems like it would be a fun race to join the volunteers, and that might be on next year's resolution list.

Today actually had a 7 mile run on my 'break 4:30' training schedule and my pace is supposed to be 11:23 LSR. Trail running is supposed to be slower than street running, so success. Also, I feel injury free and was able to hack out several good sized lungers that have been loitering in my bronchial passages for the past week.

Check out this race next year if you are looking for a trail run or something different to do around the beginning of Oct.


Adam said...

Can I steal your bucket list for this year? Any other good ones on there?

RunningLaur said...

Great run! Pretty sure you ran this much faster than I could!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed this one this year.
Nicely done! Trail race...CHECK!