I was looking forward to the Trail Racing Over Texas Habanero Hundred Relay for what seemed like an eternity. I had run the Horseshoe Trail Run 50K back on May 16th and since then had only raced once at a local 5K on the 4th of July. My legs were itching for a race and the fact that I was going to get to run with some awesome friends and team members on a relay made it that much better. This race would serve as a final tune up for my race the following weekend at the Tamalpa Headlands 50K in California on 8/29.
I named our team of 5, Shake And Bake, when I created our team and since nobody spoke up we would have to live up to the infamous quote by the one and only Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Our team consisted of Tracie Akerhielm, Anthony Jacobs, Zach Szablewski, Ben Drezek, and myself. The race was made up of 14 legs of 7.2 Miles. With a team of 5, each member would run two loops with one member taking on the course twice. We claimed our respective legs and were ready to roll. Going into the race, we had no idea what we were going to target, just hoping to run fast and see how we felt throughout the event.
I started off the first leg of the race. Everyone lined up at the Start/Finish line and took off when the gun sounded. We made our way across a field of grass and up a small hill before jumping on the trails of Buescher State Park. I was running comfortably and around half a mile in I looked down and noticed I was at 6:30 pace. By now, there were only two other relay team members a few seconds behind me and I could hear them as we crossed over loose rock and climbed up and down hills on the front side of the course so I decided to keep a steady pace and continue onward. At the first mile I turned around and couldn’t see anyone for at least 50 meters. I was glad to have dropped them and to be running by myself. I was able to enjoy the trail on my own. The first 3 miles felt the easiest and just after that point the trail entered its toughest section from miles 3-5 that included a few harder climbs that were an enjoyable change of pace. After I passed mile 5 or so the course had a net downhill profile on the return to the Start/Finish. I enjoyed every part of the trail, despite the suffocating heat and humidity, as the trail had no air flow. Coming out of the trail I ran toward my team-mate Anthony and took off the ankle timing chip and threw him our team’s race belt and he was off.
After my first leg we had a 6 minute lead on the second place team and we continued to extend that lead over the course of the 100.8 Mile distance. I felt comfortable on all of my legs. I ended up splitting the fastest 3 loops out of anyone at the race with a 49:21 on my first leg, then a 49:41 and finally a 50:19 on my night leg. Running on a relay team with great friends, running through the night with my headlamp, and getting some fast miles in on the trail made this a phenomenal event that I can’t wait to race again next year. Team Shake And Bake finished up with a time of 12:33:33 for the win, almost 4 hours ahead of the second place team. A big thank you to Trail Racing Over Texas, Feetures, Altra, Amrita Bars, Victory Sportdesign, and CarboPro for gearing me up and keeping me fueled. Now I turn my sights to the Tamalpa Headlands 50K and running the best race I can put forth on the day.
- Altra Superior Shoes
- Feetures High Performance Quarter Socks
- CarboPro GMO Free IP
- CarboPro MetaSalt
- Victory Sportdesign Bear II Bag
- The North Face Better Than Naked Shorts
- Team Trail Racing Over Texas Singlet and Buff
- Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated