Posted by: cadavidson | June 25, 2013

Beat The Heat Scottsdale

My wife, overestimating my running abilities, or at least my running speed, found about the 11.22k Scottsdale Beat The Heat race and thought I should enter to win some of the prize money which was won by the top 10 finishers.

In most races if this nature, I can pull off a top 10 and sometimes even a little better, like a top 5. But, when big money is offered, big names show up! I’d seen that David Goggins and Perry Edinger were the designated special guests, I figured correctly that I’d be faster than both of them, granted as I heard after the race, Goggins had already run 20 miles earlier the same day.

The race started nicely and on time. I started immediately behind the elite and VIO corral. The elite corral had some good runners from mcmilllan’s elite flagstaff team, who I knew would run sub 5 minute pace, which I can’t touch. Not even momentarily. More interestingly some of the Phoenix ultra runners were in the elite corral as well; Nick Coury and James Bonnett. Both are superb runners. Nick has been gearing up for Hardrock and James recently won Zane Grey 50.

I stood alongside Dave Metzler just behind the 25 or so elites in the first corral. I wandered if I was doomed to finish behind all of the elites…

My old triathlon mentor Dan Cadriel sang the National Anthem and we were off. The start temperature was nowhere near the race’s namesake 122 (11.22k) degrees, which was recorded at 2:47 on June 22, 1990.

I started fast, but I intended to. I knew my body temperature was going to elevate, and I knew everyone’s body temperature would elevate. I figured a fast opening mile would only shave some time, not cause any additional heat issues later in the race. This approach wouldn’t work in a longer race. But you can take a few more risks and err in the side if speed in such a short race.

My opening mile was 5:49. This was a very controlled 5:49, never felt like I was pushing too hard. In fact, I think I started too slow, which I will get to. I got a little dry mouthed before the first if the 10 water stations. At each water station I hurriedly grabbed two cups, one to drink and one to toss into my head. This worked well.

The 5k runners started at the same time as the 11.22k runners. Their turn was just before the 2 mile market. As I approached the 2 mile marker I was interested to see how many places I would move up as the 5k runners veered off to head towards the finish line. Before the 2 mile marker I was in 25th place or so. After the 5k turn, I was in the same position. Not one of the fast starters was doing the 5k! Bummer, I should have run the 5k, I thought to myself.

Miles 2 and 3 were slightly over 6 minute pace. Mile 4 was tough. My pace slowed to 6:30, however I continued to pass a people here and there. My Garmin file shows that mile 4 was indeed uphill. I examined a few other runner’s data in strava and found the same trend, about a 30 second slowdown in mile 4.

Miles 5 – 7 were rolling, but generally down hill. I was able to lower my pace back down to sub 6:10. The entire race, I was not passed. I don’t think this is such a good thing. In my opinion, it means I started too slow. It means I was never running with the group that I should be running with. Or, maybe it just means I’m a better finisher due to the many long aravaipa trail races I’ve done recently.

Around mile 6 I heard one of the 5k walkers say as I passed, “that’s number 11 right?” I thought, there’s no way I’m 11th. But, it would really be bad to finish one place out of the prize money. I caught the potential 10th place runner relatively easily.

I crossed the finish line in 43:06. Good enough for 16th place. Not the 10th, I’d been promised by the 5k walkers (in the back of my mind I knew this was the case)!

All in all, happy with my race.

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