I picked-up my nephew, Aymar, at Vmware where he is doing an internship this year and we left Palo Alto at 2 PM. The race was late but the constraint was to pick up the bib number before the check-in booth closed at 6 PM. GoogleMaps was giving 2h21 minutes for the route to Sacramento State University so I felt that was provided enough of a margin even on a Friday afternoon. The traffic on Dumbarton Bridge (84) and 880 North was ok but we started getting bumpers to bumpers right on 80, with more than 70 miles to go. I was seeing the clock moving faster than the car and we finally made it in 3.5 hours, with 30 minute left to check-in. A first source of stress.
Then, a few issues at the check-in of the hotel on the campus, which I'm not going to detail but which provided some additional stress and we head up to the Hornet Stadium around 7 PM which was the deadline to "report." This is when I found out that I was part of the second heat/final scheduled to start at... 9:20 PM... I had a light lunch before leaving the house and it was too late to have dinner so I ate a few chips and cookies. As soon as the sun disappeared from the benches of the stadium, it became quite chilly actually, in the mid to low 60s (Farenheit) and Aymar and I went back to the car to keep warm, before I decided to drive back to the room to put a pair of pants and 3 layers on top of my USA jersey.
Finally, it was time to go into the area to change, by 9PM. The first final was still going on and the wind blowing even on the track, at the bottom of the stadium. Our start got delayed by 10 minutes as the first final was quite slow (finish times from 35 to 51 minutes). I thought that they must have been slowed down by this strong wind and that I will have to take that into account in my pacing.
With the strange timing (I'm not used to start that late in the day) and the lack of pre-race fueling plan and strategy, I was not feeling over confident, yet quite excited to be part of this field and competition.
I was assigned number 17 as a starting position which set me completely on the outside of the start line. Yet, before the end of the first turn, I was in 6th position. My first lap was 1:17.79 and it felt quite fast for me while the leaders had already a few seconds lead. I clocked my second lap at 1:19.16 which felt more reasonable (yes, every second counts and makes a big difference at this pace...). In the event booklet, I saw that 12 competitors had better personal records than me, not counting 3 which had no personal best displayed, so I knew I had no chance to keep up with the leaders and it was more about running my own race. My overall goal was to improve my own record (33:57 at Trailblazer 4 years ago), yet without killing myself before the marathon. It was great to get encouragements from Aymar at each lap and also from another person who I think mentioned Ohlone, but I couldn't turn my head to see who that was (please leave a comment if you read this, you really helped me keeping the pace up!). Yes, speaking of pace, I'm pretty happy with the consistency of my 25 laps: 01:17.79 - 01:19.16 - 1:19.25 - 1:18.75 - 1:20.15 - 1:20.27 - 1:20.33 - 1:21.50 - 1:21.33 - 1:22.37 - 1:22.08 - 1:21.72 - 1:22.67 - 1:22.83 - 1:22.05 - 1:22.72 - 1:23.13* - 1:23.13* - 1:23.13* - 1:25.00 - 1:23.10 - 1:24.75 - 1:22.12* - 1:22.12* - 1:22.12* (sorry, a long series of numbers, boring to read; also, the * denote times where I missed my split and divided a 3-lap split by 3). Here, between Russia and Germany (lap 2):
my Picasa album for that first day.
I was in bed by midnight and, still battling the jet lag of me return from 3.5 weeks in Europe, 3 days before, I woke up around 5 AM. I had registered to volunteer on Sunday and checked-in at the volunteer booth shortly after 8 but was assigned to my first duty around 10 (placing the hurdles for the 100 meters races). In the meantime, I could take a few pictures which I uploaded on Picasa (Saturday album).
Results Therapy. Hope it's ok, and that the night will be good enough for my mind and muscles to recover and get enough rest. While I'm thinking of my Quick Silver Ultra Racing teammates running Tahoe Rim Trail 50-mile and 100-mile this Saturday and Sunday, getting "A Glimpse of Heaven, a Taste of Hell" (TRT race motto).
=============================================================== Name Age Team 10,000m Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Fontaneda, Francisco Jav M47 Spain 31:32.85 2 Paredes, Benjamin M49 Mexico 31:40.88 3 Perminov, Sergey M45 Russia 31:50.74 4 Burdett, Francis M46 United States 31:53.09 5 Miller, Kevin M49 United States 33:23.11 6 Riefer, Markus M45 Germany 33:29.00 7 Pingpank, Markus M47 Germany 33:51.28 8 Pommier, Jean M47 United States 34:02.65 9 Duperrain, Philippe M45 France 35:00.84 10 Deminter, Tyrus M48 United States 35:27.87 11 Azimbayer, Serikkazy M45 Russia 35:31.73 12 Alvarez, Ramon M46 Venezuela 35:34.81 13 Poulos, Ted M49 United States 36:53.09 14 Vargas, Jose Manuel M48 Costa Rica 37:05.12 15 Sawchuk, Kevin M45 United States 37:26.47 16 Tserendorj, Purevjav M46 Mongolia 37:32.61 17 Barrett, Thomas M49 United States 37:39.77 18 Gallego, Oliver M49 United States 38:26.79 19 Nichols, John M46 United States 38:45.09 20 Rowden, Robert M46 United States 40:54.92 21 Pinzon Gomez, Luis Ferna M48 Colombia 41:06.86 22 Castillo, Victor M46 Panama 41:50.70 23 Roberts, Alan M46 Great Britain 41:54.46 24 Guevara Martinez, Edgar M47 Colombia 43:22.61 25 Madappa, Yogendra M49 India 44:50.36 26 Hahn, Richard M49 United States 45:32.19 27 Grierson, Bruce M48 Canada 45:40.43 28 Ramirez, Gerardo M49 Dominican Republic 51:09.80 -- Sheringham, Paul M48 Australia DNS -- Black, Michael M46 United States DNS -- Young, Don M47 United States DNS -- Bickham, Scott M45 United States DNS -- Ram, Kishan M47 India DNS -- Kumar, Pramod M49 India DNS -- Kremer, Dov M46 Israel DNS -- Godfredsen, Kim M45 Denmark DNS -- Mohammednejad, Hamidreza M47 Turkey DNS