This was a last minute race sign up. I had never run the Paramount Ranch 30k but as it was so local (20 minutes drive) and it was a good opportunity to support the the organization and Race Director of my next two races (Sean O’Brien 50k in February and Leona Divide 50m in April) it seemed liked a no-brainer.
So Becca and I signed up a week or so in advance and come a chilly Saturday morning we were standing on the start line. The race combined a 10k, a Half Marathon and a 30k, one, two or three loops respectively around Paramount Ranch. Paramount Ranch was the film lot of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and a number of other classic westerns.
As all the distances started at once it was a bit busy but it was manageable. In total there was probably a couple of hundred people. As you would expect there was all manner of garb and equipment and even a selection of fancy dress. Personally given that there was a couple of Aid Stations every loop I decided to keep it very simple with Inferno Shorts and Shirt from Saucony. For footwear I opted for my Kinvara TR2 shoes, these are super lightweight low profile racing flats for trails (they are basically the same as A5s with a bit of grip). Now retired you can find them in the outlet section of many websites for around $70. Just to fend off the cold I was wearing a pair of Voler Armwarmers. I was also carrying a UD Handheld and a baggy of HI5 as well as a couple of gels.
With three loops this was a good opportunity to pace myself and I was able to see the start list and had reasonably high expectations of doing well. That being said I am in a pretty competitive age group so we would have to wait and see.
After a quick briefing we were off. The usual shuffling to find some room ensued as we ran through the town. After a quick left and right we were out on the trails and into a nice little climb. After quite a lot of rain earlier in the week the trails had not had time to dry off. This left some muddy spots and it was a bit slippery but it was nothing too onerous. The course was basically a series cloverleaves around and back through the town. On each inner loop there was some climbing and descending. There was lots of opportunities to see other runners but because you all started at once you had no real idea what race anyone was running.
The first loop I tucked myself into between a couple of girls and made pretty good time completing it 54:37 (8:47). A bit faster than I was expecting but I felt fine. After the first loop I stopped to remove a stone from my shoe and strip off my armwarmers and set off on lap 2. I caught up with the couple of people who passed my while I was sitting and tucked in behind them. The second loop runners thinned out as the 10k runners finished.
I was being well paced for the second loop by runners in front and behind, this was completed in 55:00 (8:51) well within pace of the first loop. My surrounding runners dropped after the second loop leaving me to complete the third on my own. As expected the runners thinned out even more and during the third loop I was lapping folks from the Half Marathon race. I was starting to feel the effect of going out a little fast as I neared the end and there were definitely some hills that I had to walk up that I had been running up previously. This was borne out in my final loop split of 59:23. (9:33) an after the fact reminder that I had gone out too fast.
Through the finish I was given a medal and was done.
Post race I grabbed some food of which there was a smorgasbord of sweet and savory finds. I waited for Becca to come in and chatted with other runners. You can read Becca’s race report here but suffice to say she kicked butt!
The results were posted and I was pleased to see that I had done pretty well. 5/14 in my Age Group and 11/67 Overall with a finish time of 2:50:35 (9:10). Easy to see the impact of the last loop. That being said fourth place was a good 10 mins ahead of me and tenth nearly 2 mins ahead so there was nothing much to be done!
So overall a good day at the races! A well run and fun (as long as you consider running up and down hills as fun) local event and a great way to round out the year!