NJ Trail Series 10 miler

“there an’t nothing to do what it takes to step through.” -tool

I didn’t tell anyone I was gonna do this race in advance. The reason being that at the time you would tell people such things and invite them to join the fun i was really out of shape, so much so that the idea of racing at all seemed silly. But I really turned myself around in short order. Its amazing how well a combo of a healthy diet and exercise can change your body in a hurry. And after 6 weeks of training including a 35 hour week with Brett of www.zentriathlon.com and a plant based diet fed to me by www.liveandeatbetter.com I dropped 5-10lbs in 6 weeks and built enough fitness to at least line up for a local 10 miler and not bring shame on myself.

Morning came and I changed up my race day diet to include an Amrita bar. Amrita bars In the past eating before a race wasn’t possible and I think I bonked a lot in the past. But the extra 300 calories really make a difference and these bars seem to digest really easy for me; I think because it low sugar, and whole, real foods. They also taste amazing; when pre-race nerves make eating hard taste really matters.

On the way to the race it was 20 degrees out, some wind, and fresh snow covered the ground. Kinda perfect for a trail race! The race started and I didn’t know the course and decided before hand I would sit in with the leaders and follow since I didn’t know what the right pace would be for the elevation, terrain and field. That plan went out the window when I rolled off the front in the first 500m. I had a gap and as we hit the first section of trail the path turned skyward and I decided to attack. My mind needed to believe I could win and nothing give hope of a win like leading.

My legs were super strong from a meaningful commitment to my winter gym work and I felt strong going up and by the top of the climb about 2 miles in I had a nice gap. Downhill running in snow, roots, rocks, leaves and off camber turns is more a test of bravery than fitness which added a fun element to trail racing and even more so in winter!

As the first of two laps ended we hit a series of switch backs and I saw I had 80 seconds on second place. For some reason this caused panic in me. After all if he picks it up by 40 seconds and I let up 40 seconds he catches me. Also I haven’t raced at all and I have no idea if I have 10 hard trail miles in me. So as we hit lap 2 I pour it on as best I can and kept trying to drive the pace. At this point the trail went from soft first tracks to everyone behind me beating the path into slippery snow. Not totally eating it became part of the challenge as did trying to revive my frozen face which had been stuck out into the wind and 20 degree cold and now had a frozen evil grin on it.

I survived the second lap and did finally fade a touch at the end but ended up cross the line first with enough time between me and second to avoid letting anyone know I have NO sprint kick.

So the win bank is open. Hoping for more deposits in 2013!

Foto: rocking my new Amrita shirt and bottle. Get some.




  1. Happy to see that you’re Forty Six & 2 steps ahead of the competition, John. Continue to have a kickass race season this year.

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