The Bossendorf Volkslauf is a local trail race. I ran this last year and it was a bit of an eye opener as id not run much in the way of hills at that time. But the downhill over the last 3k makes for a nice flying finish, It was also another opportunity for my youngest to let it rip in a local race.
The day started of overcast and reasonably cool (18°c), We were a bit late getting underway, I dont like to have to rush before a race, but in the end we had a good 15-20 minutes time to spare before my youngest's race. Enough to pickup the race numbers, give him a pep talk, and remind him that he could take this 1000m one a bit faster than some of the other longer races he's done recently. I wasnt at the start line with him i dont think he managed to get in the front row, the bigger kids probably boxed him out, this race was for 8-11yo's. but with a short burst away from the line he was in about tenth, over the next 300m he pulled back all but one of the runners in front of him, and he proceeded to chase her the rest of the race, coming in second overall and first boy. He finished in 3:56 which given the race was run on grass is pretty decent.
I had a good 30 mins to get ready before my race got underway, It even started to rain a little just before the start. We lined up at the start line and before we knew it were underway, I started pretty well, with about 15 runners ahead of me, This time i paid very close attention to my pace and didnt go with the first or second bunch, but rather stuck to my own pace. It turned out to be a good decision as the second buch broke up pretty quickly stringing out, and i managed to catch up to the tail of them.
Once the race gets into the forest there is a short sharp climb and we formed up into a small group going up that, over took a couple of guys that probably got pulled into starting too fast, then there was an equally short decent that we took pretty quick, The trail then returns to its climb into the forest and one of the runners in the group pulled past me and the guy up front and started to open a little gap on us, I decided to go with him and took up the chase the two other guys in the small group followed behind. We didnt really close the gap on him but he didnt open up any more either... then there was another decent, even steeper, and my downhill running showed its use as i managed to draw up on the guy in fronts heels.
We then came off the trails and onto a fire road for some longer straight sections, I was running comfortably on the guy in fronts sholders for a km or two before i noticed that the pace had slipped a little, so i pulled ahead of him and returned the pace to what it had been, the group now thined a little untill it was just him following me. At km10 i took a gel just before the drinks station, using my walk while i drink strategy... I find that i dont loose more than a 2-3 meters doing that and it means you get the whole drink, and no water up your nose.
Then we started another long gentle climb up some narrow trails, Id managed to open up a little gap on the guy behind, and in this section that grew until before long i couldnt see him in behind me when i went round a corner. At km 13 i thought to myself only 7km to go nearly there... then i realised how silly that sounds and had time to think about how my marathon prep training was responsible for such a though in the first place..
Km 14 gave us a nice gentle down hill and i stretched my legs out a bit and let gravity do its thing, perhapes going a bit too fast as the next climb was just around the corner and i felt like it was the toughest of the whole race... then we had some longer open stretches and i couldnt see the runner ahead at all, or the guy behind me, so with about 5k to go i decided not to race this all out, but to hold steady and race for my current place whatever it was.
We started to pick up and pass some of the nordic walkers who had started earlier that morning, before i finally got over the top of the last hill and could start the final roll down the last 3k to the finish line. Before i knew it i was back at the sports ground and running down the finishing shute.
I came in 7th overall and 2nd in my age class with a clock time of 1:26:11 ... and im really really pleased with the result and how i ran the race. I managed to take almost 10 minutes off last years time, The decision to just bring it home in my position was also correct as the 6th place runner was 3 minutes ahead of me, id have never caught him and just blown my legs for the next weeks training.