Last year, when I raced this, I ran with a heart rate monitor for the first time. I averaged 96 % of my maximum for 90 minutes - supposedly impossible. I went back this year to see if I could repeat.
I always get lost going to this race. The rising sun is in one's eyes as one looks for the right roads. This year there was also fog. And frost - though it was predicted to be a warm day.
The first mile of the course is on asphalt and I tried to hold back, though the first mile was in 6:30 (HR 152). The second has some ruts and roots to trip one up; I passed Jeff Allen here. By four miles, Jeff and I were passing 10K runners. Mile splits about 6:50, HR about 161. At five miles, I had a twinge in me left hip and worried; Rochelle Wirth caught up with us. The first bad hill is at 6 miles; heart rate went to 174 (171 ave.). On the downhill, I sped up to 4:30 mile pace briefly, separating myself from Jeff and Rochelle. Then my back went and my left hamstring went with it. Caught by 7 miles. At 8, I was mentally out of the race and enjoying the scenery; much too slow on the easy bit around 9. Second tough hill is at 10 and I was being passed by dozens. Tried to stay with them; didn't. Sped up again at 11. Last brief steep hill at the Blue Beech Bridge and I was being passed again. On the road at 12; gradual uphill against the wind to the finish.
Some miles were as slow as 8:30, back to 6:45 at end, heart rate averaged 162 (89%max)
The course is beautiful, with trees just past peak (and leaf litter hiding some roots). Mostly basswood, some ironwood, some white oak. The small rocks are plentiful - Keith's Vibram Five-fingers wouldn't be my choice.
The results are in (except the 5K won't load), so I'm compiling the final results of the MNTRS. That means, of course, I'll win my age class...
I've got a bit of a cold, so not feeling well. At least the race season is finally over for me!
Good Morning Duluth!
1 week ago