Bear Chase Trail Race Half Marathon

Pre-Race

The 2nd annual Bear Chase Trail Race was held on Sept 25th, 2011. Racers could choose either 10K, half-marathon, 50K or 50M distances. The venue, same as last year, was the Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood CO. For those who haven’t been there, it’s a beautiful park with tons of sinngle/double track for running/biking in addition to lot of shaded areas and picnic tables around the lake.

Given the large number of people participating, we decided to head there fairly early. Sucks having to wake up and hit the road that early, but getting a good parking spot is priceless. The race organization was great. Course was marked well. They could have used a few more porta-potties but there were a lot of tree to duck behind so it wasn’t a problem.

Let’s Race

The race was running on schedule and before we knew it, it was time for the Half-marathon racers to start. I’ve never run there before and was a little surprised how meandering and rolling the single track was. I was under the impression that it would be a lot more flat other than a couple of noticable climbs.

The first climb was at mile marker 5.5. It’s a fairly steep climb where the course splits off for the half racers. At this point in the race I was in 2nd place. The guy in 1st was way ahead and flying, so I wasn’t concerned about him. But the guy in 3rd was closing in on me. We were also starting to pass the 50K and 50M runners who had started a lot earlier. This is where I went off course. I think, it was when I was passing a long line of runners that I missed the split. The course was really well marked so it was definitely my fault. Maybe it was the conbination of having to focus on my footing and the morning sun in my eyes.

Anyways, the guy in 3rd noticed that I had gone off course and tried to call out to me. But that didn’t work. He also alerted some spectators that I had gone off course. One of whom happend to be on a bike and was also my good friend Hawaiian Shirt Ray. He raced down the hill got me to turn around. Luckily, this all happened very quickly and I found out later that I only went off course around 1/4mile. Total extra milage was only around 1/2mile. Also, the guy in 3rd who alerted Ray was Clint Boston and he ended up getting 3rd overall.

At this point, I decided to just settle down and to not worry about time or places lost and to run my own race. The rest of the race went according to plan.

Well almost. At around mile marker 10, my right hamstring began to cramp just a little. I decided to stop and fix it before it got work. Stretched the hamsting out to prevent the cramping. Activated and mssaged my right glute a little and I was off again. That did the trick and the hamstring behaved the rest of the way.

The finish was a long downhill but I didn’t know the details. The course also lacked mile markers which would a nice minor improvement. Anyways, the finish came up on my faster than I had anticipated. But I finished strong which is always a great feeling.

Turns out that the detour only cost me 3 places. I finished 5th overall and 2nd in my age group. The official race results are Here. Total time was 1:34:13 @ 7:12 min/mile pace.

Post Race

After  a quick cool down, I was ready to hit all the post race festivites. It was nice to be able to finish early and cheer on all the other racers who were doing the 50K and 50M. They had a guy there making some great pancakes and sausages. And also, Ft Colling Brewery was there with free beer for all the racers. No choices here, they had just a unfiltered Hefeweizen. Great choice for the warm day it was turning out to be.

In conclusion, great race, very well organized. I plan on doing this again next year and bringing the family along.

And here the details from the Garmin 310xt.

Here are a few pictures from the event…

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