ChiRunning Responsible for Win at National Trail Championships

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Yes, you can say you heard if first right here in the blog. All of my ChiRunning race-specific training paid off and I actually won my age group at the 2009 USATF National 10K Trail Championships last weekend. But, let’s be clear about this. It doesn’t mean that I’m the fastest 55-59 year old trail runner in the U.S. It just means that I was the fastest old guy who got it together to show up on race day.

The race was extremely enjoyable as well as being an extremely challenging experience. In the 6.2 miles of the course there were 1310′ of vertical gain (climbing) and the same amount of vertical loss (plummeting).

The race started literally on top of a mountain and was shaped like a cloverleaf where you had to descend the four sides of the mountain in separate loops, returning to the top of the mountain at the end of each loop. The best word I could come up with in describing the course was “treacherous.” It looked like it had been built by a work crew using only weed-eaters and pickaxes the week before and I had to rely on my wits (as well as my hands) to keep myself vertical a few times. The views were off the charts but, as you could guess, I didn’t have much time to take them in. I was busy using every ChiRunning focus in the book.

I don’t mean to sound like I didn’t like the course. On the contrary, I thrive in these conditions. I get to put everything in know to the test and this event felt like a final exam in a graduate course. I finished the race in 1:02:46, a mere 16 seconds behind my training partner, Billy Jonas. The winner of the race ran it in a totally unbelievable time of 39 minutes and some change. Do the math. That’s a 6:20/mile average for the course I just described! I figure the guy who won had one of three things going on: a.) he’s bionic… b.) he’s carrying a major death-wish… or c.) he forgot to do one of the required loops. 

Hats off to Jason and his outstanding race crew for putting on such a “well-run” event. Y’all did a great job!

I’ll be running the Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon on September 12th and I’ll be using the same race strategy…pass every gray-haired guy I can find.

Keep on Truckin’


Posted in Technique

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