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Table Rock Trail Challenge

NavEng

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This was a different type of race. There are two 1.2 mile loops, course A for the first 10 loops, then course B until the end. You have 22 minutes to finish the first loop. If you don’t finish, you’re out. Then after 22 minutes, everyone starts together with a reduced amount of time to finish. Repeat until the winner remains.

Times were not recorded, only completed loops, so the correct strategy had to be learned. You can take it easy, essentially walking, the first several loops, and conserve energy. Or you could go a little faster and take breaks after each loop for food, bathroom, etc. I did a combination.

There just plain walking to start:

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Some walking on the large wet rocks with slippery moss (the Table Rock):

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Some climbing up a rock wall. These were nice dry rocks, so just a fun thing to do:

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More slippery rock walking:

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And there was a hurdle:

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And many times walking across the finish line when I knew the lap was “safe”. You couldn’t see the countdown clock until you turned the corner with 200-300 ft to go. I’m not good at working the watch, so I trusted people around me who looked like they knew what they were doing.

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The RD purposefully switched from “A” to “B” so people wouldn’t kill themselves trying to beat the clock. I thanked him for that.

Course B was all runnable, so I was still getting 2-3 minutes of rest between loops from miles 12-18 (through loop 15) as I sped up, although the time limit was shrinking. Then it got real. That 2-3 minute break disappeared really quick, and although the RD stuck with 12 minutes for awhile (10 min/mi pace), I was running out of steam, and was tapped out after 19 loops. Later that afternoon, the winner crossed the line for the 30th time. I don’t remember the time for that last loop, but I don’t think he started sweating yet when I finished.

The women’s winner (28 loops) was a straight poker face the entire time. She had the timing perfect, and beat the clock with less than a minute each time. She ended up being my “sweeper” - right in front of me as I got knocked out.

It was a pretty neat format for the race, since you got to run with people of all abilities every loop, and the winner finished last.

Back to a good speed run this morning, so all systems seem to be recovered.

Proof that I actually ran some:

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Interesting format for a race, Last at the Lake is the only other one I can think of that does that. Congratulations on your 19 loops!

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that is kinda neat, I'll have to keep an eye out for one of these!  

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Such a cool format! It would stress me out wondering if I should run at the beginning or walk??

Great training for that H!

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14 minutes ago, Carissa Liebowitz said:

Interesting format for a race, Last at the Lake is the only other one I can think of that does that. Congratulations on your 19 loops!

The uniqueness probably led to the quick sell-out in only the 2nd year. I had no idea what to expect going in, so I was pretty happy with 19 (although 20 does sound much better!)

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18 minutes ago, Running Nutz said:

that is kinda neat, I'll have to keep an eye out for one of these!  

the people running it together covers the spectrum. There were elite runners running alongside a dad with his 2 daughters who looked to be about 10.

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58 minutes ago, ocrunnergirl said:

Such a cool format! It would stress me out wondering if I should run at the beginning or walk??

Great training for that H!

I was constantly asking myself that. But trails, so no stress!

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It would be interesting to hear how the organizers came up with that format -- and how many beers had been consumed when the idea took hold -- so out of the box. Nice job!

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Kinda like a long beep test but on trails...sounds like fun! Nice work on eth 19 loops. One things for sure when you start to fatigue the mental arithmetic fades pretty quick too!

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7 hours ago, ChocTop said:

Kinda like a long beep test but on trails...sounds like fun! Nice work on eth 19 loops. One things for sure when you start to fatigue the mental arithmetic fades pretty quick too!

yep - after a while we just stopped trying to figure out paces (the 1.2 miles really messed up the math) and just ran to survive

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What a cool format. Nice job on 19 loops! I think I would be a mental wreck by the end, since I'm not a fan of intervals with time recoveries, rather than distance recoveries. Two minutes go by way too fast for my liking.

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Although it's already been said many times, I agree that this is a fantastic unique idea for a race!

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