Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moonshiner 5K Paris Mountain Night Run

I ran the Half Moon Outfitters Moonshiner 5K on Friday, September 17th in the Vibrams. The race started at 8 PM. I was amazed at how many people attended. The race results showed that 212 people ran the race. Even Superwoman and her sidekick showed up! You will have to view the photos to see what I am talking about. Go to When you see the picture you will understand.

I've never run or hiked at night so I had to order one of the headlamps that they offered on the race entry website. You were not allowed to run without a head lamp; which is wise during night run.

The race started promptly at 8. I decided to start out about mid way in the pack of runners. I was not planning on running the race hard and did not want to delay any fast runners behind me. Unfortunately that allowed a bunch of slower runners in front of me.

We started off at the top of the main parking lot and ran past a shelter over the paved road and onto the Mountain Creek trail. We then took a quick left onto the Turtle Creek trail. That trail is very narrow and extremely hard to pass slower runners on. I decided to just go with the flow and tried my best to watch my footing so I did not wipe out. I did have one near fall but caught myself with my hands and kept going. After about a 1/2 mile or so we popped back out onto the paved road. I had not studied the route before hand so I had no idea how long we would be running on the road. Most of the paved road was uphill which helped spread out the flock of runners. I felt really good so far so I decided to pass as many people as I could while there was space. I am not sure where but eventually we turned back onto the Mountain Creek trail and started back towards the finish line.

During the run I was amazed at how much dust and debris I was sucking into my lungs. My bright running light illuminated all of the dust kicked into the air by the runners. There was also a lot of small moths flying around. I am sure I ate a few of those during the run.

The crowd had really spread out on the return trip on Mountain Creek so the running was much more fun. I picked up my pace quite a bit during the second half of the race. It was really neat running on those trails at night. I was starting to tire a little near the end as we emerged back onto the paved road for the final stretch. I did not realize how close the finish line was until it was too late. According to my Garmin the race was actually about 2.86 miles instead of 3.1. I usually like to sprint the last hundred yards but I did not get that chance, which is fine.

Thanks to Half Moon Outfitters we had lots of water to drink and food to eat at the finish line. Half Moon Outfitters and the race volunteers really did a great job. I appreciate all of the hard work they put in to make a successful event. Thanks again! The race was a blast.

Have a great day.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Paris Mountain 7K

I apologize for the long delay in writing. Work has been overwhelming and I have been putting off writing. I did run the Paris Mountain 7K in the Vibrams. Before the race started I met two other guys running in Vibrams. They both were running with the Bikila Vibrams. This shoe was designed more for running than the KSO that I wear. The Bikila has a thicker sole to help absorb impact from small rocks and other debris on the ground. When my KSOs wear out I may try the Bikila.

I felt good the morning of the race and to "enhance" my performance I tried an ABB Ripped Force energy drink. I had tried one of those with good results on the Milliken Earth Run so I thought I would give it a try in this race.

We started off at the upper picnic shelter and ran down the road and through the parking lot to spread us out. My plan was to go at it hard until we hit the Mountain Creek trail to get in front of the slower runners. I believe I ran a little too fast. By the time I hit the Mountain Creek trail I was panting hard. I continued up the Mountain Creek and then took a left on the Sulphur Springs. By the time I crossed over the road I was beat. I looked at my Garmin and noticed my pulse was at 193. I have never seen it that high before. The morning was warm and humid and I think the high heat index coupled with the energy drink made my heart rate soar. I got a little nervous so I walked for about 2 minutes to catch my breath. I then continued on at a slower pace. By the time we climbed up the rocks by the dam I was approaching the 190 beats per minute again. Fortunately there is a good downhill after that climb. This gave me a small amount of time to recover.

The worse hill was still yet to come! Coming off the connector trail we hit the road and started the steep climb up the only portion of road that you actually run for a distance on. It is a very tough hill. Somehow I actually continued a jog up that hill without stopping. Knowing that I had some good down hill stretches ahead of me helped motivate me through this portion of the run.

Once I passed the Archery Range picnic shelter the trail is a steep and treacherous downhill. It is difficult when you are tired because I tend to not pick up my feet as high and catch them on the roots and rocks. I struggled through the remainder of the run just hoping the finish line would appear soon.

Approximately 1/8 mile from the end a friend of mine passed me up. That bummed me out because I did want to beat him in this race! As we turned onto the final trail for the finish I decided to suck it up and try to catch him. I actually got close enough to grab him if I wanted but we got into a jumbled group at the end so he actually ended up two people in front of me.

My finish time was 39:27. That put me at 57th place, which I suppose is good for me. The Vibrams felt great. Even though I was exhausted most of the race I never tripped or stumbled in them. No blisters either! My feet must be toughening up! I really like running the trail runs in the Vibrams. However, I believe I will skip the ABB Ripped Force next time. I suspect that may have caused my excessive heart rate.

My next post will be on the Moonshiner 5K. I did that run last night and it was a blast. I will describe it in the next post.

So conclusion is: the Vibrams are definitely great for running trails. I still don't run for extended periods of time on the road yet. As much as I am trying not to be, I am still somewhat of a heel striker. That is something you don't want to do in the Vibrams.

Have a great day!