The weather was warm and humid and the cloud cover quickly burned off as the race start time of 8am approached. The race started and I went out with the leaders before trying to dial it back and run marathon pace and not race the 30K. I was in 4th and enjoying the trail around Salem Lake. The surface reminded me of the Tobacco Trail or bridle trails in Umstead State Park. It was smooth and flat. I was in third place with two guys way ahead of me.
The 30K course goes around the lake counter clockwise for 6.5 miles before continuing on the greenway next to Salem Creek before turning around at 9.3 miles. I was feeling good and like I was on marathon pace but was actually running too quick. My Garmin pace was off and was telling me I was running in the 6:30s but I realized by the mile markers I was running closer to 6:20 and under. I felt good enough that I could sustain this pace so I kept rolling along.
I was able to maintain my pace for three more miles running splits of 6:20, 6:29, 6:24. I was now 12 miles in with 6.6 miles to go. I started feeling the heat and humidity after 12 miles and the too fast pace I went out at. I started to blow up during the next four miles running splits of 7:08, 7:02, and 7:01. After that I decided to go ahead and shut it down and save it for another day. I had blown the workout already and was using too much effort running 30+ sec slower than marathon pace. Final 1.6 miles were 8:01 and 7:33 pace for the final 0.6 miles. One guy caught and passed me during the final 2 miles when I was dying. At the time I thought that put me in fourth but one of the top 2 guys had dropped out so I finished 3rd overall in 2:03:10.
The Twin City Track Club put on a great event. It is a very pretty area for a race and they hold other races there like the Frosty Fifty 50K, 25K, and 50K relay in January. There could have been a few more aid stations on the course as I could have used more water especially the second half when the heat and humidity increased. Starting the race at 7am instead of 8am would have been much nicer. I loved the clay finisher's medal and handmade pottery bowl for the awards. Trail races usually have the best and most unique awards. It's still a great race and a great distance to do as a tuneup for a fall or winter marathon.
Socks: Smartwool Men's PhD Ultra Light Low Cut Socks
Shoes: Reebok Floatride Run Fast
Shorts: Rabbit Men's FKT 3" Short
Singlet: Duke Blue Devils Singlet by Adrenaline Promotions
Road ID Wrist ID Slim
Watch: Garmin 920XT
Sunglasses: Rudy Project Tralyx