Most of the time you have a choice of which race distance you want to run. Whether it be a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, or ultrarunning distance event, you typically can only run one. There are few times when you have the opportunity to run multiple races in the same day, let alone three back-to-back-to-back. This is where Trail Racing Over Texas’ San Felipe Shootout comes into play. The trail running event is a unique and thrilling concept where you are able to run a 5K at 7:30AM, come back for the 10K at 8:30AM and finish your day off with the Half Marathon at 10:30AM.
I made the 4+ hour drive to Stephen F. Austin State Park in San Felipe, Texas to use the race as my final tune up before racing Zion 100K on April 10th. I was able to meet up with some great friends including Rob and Rachel Goyen (Race Directors of Trail Racing Over Texas and ), my Team TROT team members, and meet some amazing people for the first time. I’m always astounded by the positive, friendly, and welcoming spirit of the trail running community. It’s one of the reasons I continue to participate in the sport and enjoy racing so much.
My goal for this race was to tuck into second place in each of the races and run a controlled and sustainable pace for each of the events. I knew going for first was pretty much out the window with fellow Team TROT member Calum Neff who is a 2:22 Marathoner and currently training for the Wings For Life World Run in Turkey (22nd Globally last year and 1st in North America) in the field. Each race started as expected, with Cal sprinting to the front and leaving the rest of the field in his dust. In both the 5K and 10K I ran behind the second place runner until the final 400 meters or so where I made a move and passed them to take the second place spot (sorry Tracie!). Crossing the finish line for the 5K in just under 20 minutes gave me 40 minutes before the start of the 10K and I had an hour and 20 minutes until the Half Marathon after finishing the 10K. In between each race I grabbed some water and mixed it with CarboPro’s HYDRA C5 to sip on, found a spot out of the way, and put my legs up on a wall. I also did leg swings and a quick jog prior to each race to get my legs moving.
By the time we got to the Half Marathon, I was still feeling pretty good. When the gun went off, I took off, placing myself behind Cal. This is how the race would remain all the way to the finish line. I ran at what felt like an easy pace for the first 10 Miles before starting to feel the effects of the previous two races. The last aid station on the course was located right on the Brazos River and was stocked with Girl Scout Cookies. I almost convinced myself to stop and grab some before continuing along my way, but decided it was best to just push to the end.
A huge thanks again to Rob and Rachel Goyen for putting on such a terrific race and growing the trail running scene in Texas. If you are thinking about getting into trail running or are searching for a fast trail race, make sure to check out their Brazos Bend 50 race coming up on April 25th. I hope to see you out there.
Half Marathon: 1:17:53
Next up: Zion 100K