Monday, March 7, 2016

2016 Castlewood Cup 15k Trail Race

2016 Castlewood Cup 15k Trail Race
Castlewood State Park, Ballwin MO
Feb. 27th 2016
1st Place  57:30 (6:11 pace)

The Castlewood Cup is easily one of my favorite races. I first ran it last year and fell in love with the trail and atmosphere. I was able to win the event in 15' so I had to come back do defend it, plus I want to see how much time I can personally cut from year to year on this course. Last year I covered the course on a bitter cold and windy day with trail conditions that were icy in 58:20. This year the conditions were much better with trail conditions that were muddy but the temp was at low 50's. Covered the course in 57:30 this year.

Went into this race confident in my training and ability. I had just been doing strength endurance workouts all winter long and slowly build my miles. I knew the competition would be a little tighter this year. It seems to be attracting more and more talent each year.

One thing I love about this course are the hills. This course has some decent climbs for this area. The gun went off and 3 of us went to the lead. The first 3/4 mile is flat grass which was mud this year. Heading around the tree line I found some footing and found myself side by side sharing the lead with Travis. 3/4 mile in we head up our first climb 300-400 ft ish climb. Once we hit the hill I pushed up front. At the top I threw in an intentional surge to separate myself. From there on I never really saw anybody. I could catch a glimpse of 2nd place every once and a while when the course switched back on a ravine. I could sense I was pulling slightly away over the course of the route but I knew I had to keep pressing and not settle in. The course has some great climbs and some sections of roller where you can really open up. With about 2 miles to go you can fly back down into the river section. Headed into the river crossing and back up into the flat grass section where we started. This section was even more sloppy after hundreds of people ran on it. I felt like I could open up my stride here but couldnt because of the footing. Just did my best to close strong.

After the race my right foot was tight and days after I could tell I aggravated a tendon in my right arch behind my big toe and it was uncomfortable to run on flat hard surfaces. So Im on the bike and stairs for a couple weeks. Hopefully it can clear up come March 26th for the Clinton Lake 30 miler.


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