Saturday Morning was the Mash the Creek 10k/5.5k. What a difference 5 days can make. Last week it was warm and humid. This morning, very cool with temps right around 50 degrees. It was a beautiful morning. The race was held at Potato Creek State park in Northern Indiana.
The one thing that drawls me to this race is that it is at the state park. Also, there is camping at the park, which was part of our plan. We did camp one night, but due to some camper issues, we came home this afternoon. If your into camping though, Potato Creek is a great place to camp.
The 10k race started at 9:00 with the 5.5k starting 10 minutes later. I chose the 10k. With a marathon 2 weeks away, I was going to play this a little safe. If at any time, I felt that I had my position locked up (can’t catch anyone else and no one would catch me), I would back off the pace. Honestly, this race wasn’t of huge importance to me, just a workout.
The trails on this course are tough (for northern Indiana at least). The course starts off right by the nature center, goes through the grass for roughly 100 yards, then makes a left into the woods where you run until the last 100 yards. The first mile is primarily downhill. There is a little bit of an uphill about a half mile in but then goes back down. At the half mile mark, my friend and former teammate, Bruce came up and all he said was “see you at the mile mark.” This was the last time I saw him. Mile 1 was completed at 6:17.
Mile 2 I started to ease into the race and started the 2nd mile with some more up hills and more twists and turns on the trails. Mile 3 was also more of the same as I really started to lose sight of Bruce. I would not win this race. I think this was his revenge on me for beating him at the Blueberry Stomp 5 days ago.
Towards the end of mile 3, was a long, gradual uphill. At this point I had an opportunity to look back and see that I had a 30 meter lead on 3rd place. Mile 4 was run in 7:13. Mile 5 though was the toughest, with 74 steps up the stairs and then a longer uphill climb to the tallest “peak” in the park (884 feet above sea level). Mile 5 was run in 7:31 (ouch). Mile 7was mostly down hill, but I really wasn’t too concerned about finishing time.
The last mile, I just relaxed, running it in 6:20. Why 6:20? Well my Garmin measured the course as 5.9 miles. Garmin don’t like trails with all the turns. I finished in a time of 41;09, not impressive but that’s ok. I finished 2nd overall and 1st in 30-39 age group.
Tough but nice. I love the trails at Potato Creek and for the most part, if you needed to, you could pass with room to spare. Also the course was very well marked.
There was a photographer out taking photos of the runners and they have been placed online already.
Next weekend, Tina will be running in the Indy Women’s Half Marathon and then the following weekend, I will be running in the Grand Lake Marathon.