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assault on Mt Hood, cross country

Assault on Mt Hood 2015 ReCap

Assault on Mt Hood 2015

The 11th Annual Assault on Mt Hood attracted 375 runners from greater Boston. Runners enjoyed a beautiful fall day with a clear ski, temperatures in the mid-50’s and barely a breeze.

35 runners from the Melrose Running Club participated, and many more volunteered their time. Hats off to Bryan Slater and his team for putting together another terrific race. With neither mud nor snow to contend with, Bryan and his trail team put together a challenging course with plenty of hills.

Assault on Mt Hood 2015

The race went off promptly at Noon time and we all charged across the fairway and up our first hills. Since the race was on a golf course there was plenty of room at the start. After about 100 yards the crowd thinned enough for comfortable running.

Less than a mile into the race we reached the first significant hill; Slayton Tower Hill. The trail became steep and very narrow. The pace slowed due more to the crowd than the incline of the hill. Some runners bushwhacked strait up the hill to try and get around the crowd. I was one of them and I don’t think we gained much for our efforts.

We looped around Slayton Tower on a stony trail and headed back down the hill on a paved path. Coming down the steep hill I felt like I was flying. Since the ground and pavement were uneven and I’m not used to running down hills that steep, I had to put on the brakes a bit and did not relax until near the bottom of the hill.

Assault on Mt Hood 2015The rest of the run was up and down many more hills. Not everyone stayed on the marked course and avoided the worse parts of some hills. I tried to stay true to the course, but did follow the gang a few times. My watched showed a course distance of exactly 3.5 miles so my run was true.

I was very happy to see the water stop. My mouth was dry and I needed a gulp or two to finish the race. This was my first run since Tara’s Jingle Jog in Estero Florida. In Florida the high humidity and temps in the 70’s seemed difficult, but their course was 99% flat.

At the Assault on Mt Hood 2015, I was worried that my quads would give out on me and that I’d have to walk. I did walk the peak of one hill, but most of us were leaning on our knees and pushing them down. If I had been in good Melrose Running shape, the hills would have really helped me.

Since this race was produced by my running club just about all of the course marshals and many spectators called out my name. If I had been running better I might have felt like a rock star! It was nice to have all of that support.

Assault on Mt Hood 2015, andy nagelinI struggled along as best I could and only felt like I was going to die a few times, mainly on the big hills. I was part of the MRC Masters team with Mark Rosenblum and Don Keren. I finished at 30:14 for an 8:14 pace. I was 139th over all and 18th out of 42 men in my age group. Not bad for barely running these past few months.

The Melrose Fish and Game Club put on a massive pasta dinner for everyone. I wasn’t very hungry for some reason and only had one plate. I managed to get a seat at the table where our projector was and had a great view of our slide show.

With several photographers on the course including Paul Locke and Matt Sazama, we had over 2,000 photos to cycle through. I’ll provide links to their photos below.

As people started to leave, I went out side to start my clean up work. Earlier I had collected all of the cardboard from our awards and stuffed it in the trunk of my car.As I gathered opened water bottles at the finish line water stop, I was surprised how few empty gallon jugs there were.

I took what I could find and tidied up the area. Jeanne Boisseau loaded up her car with jugs of water to take back to the club. When we left there were still cases of water, but all of the trash and empties were cleaned up.

I hope veveryone had a great time and enjoyed the race!




Run Well my Friends!


© 2015 andrew nagelin, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0