Groton Town Forest 2013Two weekends ago was the Groton Town Forest trail race. Since running this first in 2010, I've gone back every year. It's just an awesome race. This year I opted for the shorter (3.4 mile) race as I had gotten a ride out from ultra-running bud Ultra Doug. He was coming off his third Vermont 50, and I was recovering from the near-PR effort at Smuttynose the week before. So the plan was to "take it easy".
We arrived early, registered, and then went out for a short warm-up of about 2 miles. Before too long, we lined up and were off. In the first half mile, we settled in with the middle pack. I think Doug was fine to stay running with the group, but I don't like the crowded feeling, especially on single-track. So I started to push a bit. We pulled away from the group and kept going. I think I heard him mutter something like "...you bastard..." when I turned it on.
We took turns in the lead as the shorter course (much to my satisfaction) included lots of up and downs through the forest and its kettle features. About halfway through, I pulled ahead and had a considerable lead. As I neared three mile mark, I decided to slow it down and wait for Doug. After all, we'd come to run together and we've now got a history of racing down the final stretch together.
He did catch me, and this year, we just crossed the line together. No racing. I could tell he was tired, and I still had crazy kick yet. No point in pushing it. So we just came in together, at 31:37. It was good enough to land me 3rd place in my age group. Too bad there were only prizes for the first two. There's always next year.
All in all, another fantastic day for one of my favorite trail races. I'll definitely keep coming back. Maybe some year I'll see you out there.
Run, run, run.