On a cooler Saturday morning 206 eager competitors (89 in the 15K and 117 in the 5K) lined up for a muddy start to the DINO Series 5th race of the season at Town Run Trail Park in Indianapolis. The 15K started at 9am with the 5K following five minutes later. This is a little late for the current weather trend, but stays consistent with the DINO Series 9am start for all 7 races.
I ran the 15K course which is 9.3 miles, except today due to the structure of the trail and modifications by the city the course was actually more like 10 miles, and the 5K distance was closer to 3.3. We were dutifully informed of this well before the race start so you had time to mentally engage yourself for the longer distance. According to the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association which helps maintain the trail, the trail was modified due to high levels of erosion.
Town Run is mostly a Mountain Bike trail that is primarily single track throughout the entire course. It winds along the White River from 96th Street goes under 465 and supposedly comes out on 82nd Street somewhere. In the 15K we did a two loop course. We began by running the 5K loop and halfway through our second time around that loop we went straight out to complete and approx 5 mile loop through open meadow and more woods. After completing this grueling loop we finished along the 5K course. This was no easy race.
I started farther back in the pack than I should have and spent most of the first 2 miles trying to get around long "trains" of runners on the single track. After finding a group that I felt comfortable staying behind we got into some semblance of a pace and didn't have to worry about the single-track much after that. I and some others faded from the main pack and around the 4 mile mark the group I was with completely disintegrated with me staying in the front and running a long while by myself before other runners started catching me. Due to the million switch backs and turn you could see those ahead and behind you at various points, but you couldn't always be sure how far behind they actually were. I used some Clif Shot Bloks at the 5 and 10K marks, they seemed to help a little bit, but I took half the recommend amount of 6 per hour. They are given away free at the registration table for the DINO races!
I'm not excited with my overall time or individual splits, but this is actually a little faster than my last DINO race and considering the course, my current training, and nutritional habits I am happy with my 1:19:11 (7:55) ten mile time. My splits were 7:50, 6:51, 7:44, 7:43, 7:57, 8:17, 8:11, 7:48, 8:29, 8:17 (ones with similar formatting are approximately the same mile). I was very happy to place second overall in my age group and 23rd place overall.
Cross-posted at Run Central Indiana.