On Saturday morning I raced in the Allegany Adventure Run 27K in Allegany State Park. I finished the course in a time of 3:31 for what is my first trail race of the year, and my longest run since the Buffalo Marathon last June. While my per mile pace was a tad bit slower than last week, I left this race feeling much more confident about my training.

For the first three miles of the race I felt pretty good. Despite being a trail race, most of this course is on well maintained trails designed for cross country skiing, so they were not overly steep or technical. The course was certainly not flat, but this course had a different feeling from most trail runs.

Coming into the event with a plan to walk the hills, I made it through the first five miles feeling good. The next mile was a long downhill and while I used this to make good time, it set me up for a problem I would see on the rest of the course where the mix between uphill and downhill didn’t switch back often enough for a walk the hills strategy to really work.

Starting a mile 9.5 the course got decidedly more technical. I was moving pretty well through this, but there were some spots where I had to slow down just to find the trail. The final four miles returned to the ski trails, and relieved to no longer do any way finding I was able to attack the hills fairly well.

Coming into the race I knew in advance that the final 2.2 miles were an uphill slog. While I was tired, I also knew that there was nothing more to save my energy for so I took this climb on the best that I could. The course was tough, but I finished feeling fairly good.

The next race on my calendar is the Vale of Three Falls 10k in Letchworth Park, but perhaps I will be able to sneak in another race before then.