Melrose Running Club held Assault on Mt Hood
The 10th annual 3.5 mile cross-country race was hosted by the Melrose Fish and Game Club. The race itself is run on the Mount Hood golf course.
How’s this for a crazy ass course? I included the topographical map so you could see the hills. If I wasn’t following all of those people, I definitely would have been lost!
Due to unseasonably warm weather, the course was very wet and soggy in most places. There were a few puddles and areas of mud. But the only snow we had was in the air.
Last year we had an inch or so of snow on the ground. Today, someone told me that the first year they held this race they had a lot of fresh snow on the ground.
The golf course was so wet and soggy that the route was re-routed to avoid the worse of it. When the guys came back from re-marking the course they sprayed 3.6 on the pavement at the finish line.
I think they included their wandering around distance in their final number. My watch measured the course at 3.15 miles.
The official results had me at 104th place out of 354 runners. My pace was 7:13! I can run a 5K at that pace, but on level ground. My Garmin pace was 8:13.
This course had a lot of hills, many quite steep. Some hills had paved golf cart paths, others were mud and stone. Running down some of the hills I was worried about falling and had to put on the brakes. I have many miles to run yet.
The Assault on Mt Hood
A cross-country race does not lend itself to the usual turn by turn type of report I normally give. We started out on a flat, soggy plain, and then ran over hills, rocky paths and through a grown in area with many small trees.
There was a little terrain for everyone’s taste. Except for urban street runners. No flat, wide city street. None of that.
I don’t run XC often so I can’t really compare this race to others. At times we were on paths barely a runner wide. We ran up muddy hills that I was not sure my footing would hold. We ran down rocky slopes that I feared may twist my ankle with one wrong step.
It was just crazy out there!
It was impossible to lock into a nice pace and push it. The terrain was constantly changing and my stride and effort had to change just as quickly. I even walked two hills that were too steep. While running up one hill I knew my quads were shredding. I knew it. But I ran to the top of the hill anyway.
Runners come from all over for this challenging race. It’s hilly and cold and really tests your medal. As I watched people walk in to pick up their bibs, I could tell by their stride and the look in their eye that they meant business. This was an important race on their schedule.
I love seeing that purpose and determination. For these people the race really means something. It’s not just another race. Being a small part of providing that race experience to these people is rewarding.
50 5Ks at 50
For me this was race number 11 in my series of 50 races. I’ve decided that I need to include all races if I’m going to hit 50 5Ks in a year. I won’t count a 10K as 2 5Ks or anything like that. But I will count every race of 5K or more as a 5K. #505ksat50
Including the Baystate Marathon I’ve run 11 5Ks, or better, since September. This is going to be a challenge!
Run well my friends!