Belleville Pond 10k Trail Race
Race Summary by DJ Principe
My dad and I arrived at the race around 8:50 a.m. We noticed that every other Turtle had on “screw shoes.” Bob just so happened to be making a pair of his own, so my dad and I were able to use his extra screws to make our own, as well.
The next thing we did was go for a warm-up. We went out and ran the last mile and a half of the race in reverse, then turned around and headed back. Conditions looked good, and it seemed like the screw shoes were helping.
The race went off around 10 o’clock at an honest pace. I got into the trail with a pack consisting of around the top six runners. After about a mile and a half, Bob, a WTAC guy and an unattached guy began to put a little separation on my pack of three. I hit Mile 2 in the same pack, and I was in between the two runners. But I fell after going up the hill immediately after the Mile 2 marker. I lost a little ground on fourth place, but nothing too crazy. This is the way the positions stayed for the next mile or so.
After about Mile 4, I could feel my legs beginning to tire out. As I hopped onto the railway leading to the Mile 5 marker, I began to make up some ground after hearing sixth place beginning to creep up on me. Fourth place, a WTAC guy, began to surge after Mile 5, and I now had to concern myself with the sixth place runner.
He was coming up strong and didn’t sound like he was hurting too much. As he came up, behind me he began to encourage me to keep pushing. He could tell I was beginning to struggle, and it was nice to have him there to not only give me confidence but to remind me that I needed to keep pushing. I was able to put a second or two on him by using my size advantage to fit under a fallen tree much more easily than he did, however, that quickly evaporated. He passed me and said, “Now I am going to pass you, but you better stay right behind me.” I chuckled a little and tried my best to do so. We remained about 2 to 3 seconds apart for the remainder of the .2-mile finish.
I was concerned with the team scoring after finishing. But my fears subsided when I saw my dad finishing with no one in sight. After taking some doughnuts, the team went out for a nice cool-down that hurt like hell. My legs felt like rubber, but I knew the 12.2-mile day was going to help a lot for the next race (a 10-miler) and also for my endurance for the upcoming track season.
Overall, it was a very successful day for the team. Bob came in second overall by outsprinting a guy at the finish, Jackie was first female, my dad was first master and the team won first, as well. And, once again, I got to walk home with none of the team prize: a case of beer. I think my dad owes me a six-pack of root beer.