Yesterday I finished my 6th Bulldog 25K (and previous 30K) course in a respectable time of 2 hours, 56 seconds**, good for 9th place overall. I had some tough competition in the 10 year 40 to 49 year age group, with a 44 year old 2 1/2 minutes (7th place) ahead of me and a 45 year old a minute (8th place) ahead of me, the 49 year old geezer, at the finish.
** Due to an unexpected illness the original times across the board were adjusted by 1 minute, 31 seconds for everyone in the race, so the time has been changed to 2 hours, 2 minutes, 27 seconds. Still happy with it.
The picture above was taken when I jogged this course a few weeks. All summer long there's a marine layer but, wouldn't you know, no such luck on race day. It was clear blue skies and fairly high temps the whole way, with some reprieve with ocean breezes after cresting the 2,528 foot Bulldog peak. The course has over 4,000 feet of elevation climbs over its 15.5 miles. Equally brutal are the pounding downhills, which brought grief to my big toes, particularly my left big toe, yesterday. I'll need to revisit my choice of shoes next time.
I was quite pleased with my performance as aside from running trails and some hills in training, I've done nothing noteworthy, no tempo runs, speedwork, etc. Just plodding along, 40 miles a week, holding my camera to take pictures. My right hamstring is still a bit touch and go but it is manageable. The time was about 5 minutes faster than my time in last year's 25K. If I enter next year and stay healthy, the 50+ crown perhaps can be mine! :)
The unofficial results show the winner, 23 year old Geoff Burns coming in a mild boggling 1:35:48, which would be a course record by over 6 minutes! I believe he recently ran a 15:22 5K, so he definitely has the speed. He was 6 1/2 minutes of the 2nd place finisher. Pretty spectacular performance.
There's another good reason for me to run again next year. The 50 year course record is 2:05. If I maintain my current fitness level and don't get run over by a bus in the next 12 months, that record will be mine...
Learn more about the Bulldog 50K/25K races at www.trailrunevents.com/bd.
P.S. Thanks to K.K. for the positive inspiration :)