The Cougar Mountain Trail Running Series has been good to me so far this year. I won the first race in the series in May and won the 2nd race (14 miles) on June 13. I ran it in 1:56:50 which was under my goal of 2 hours and about 5 minutes better than the time I ran 2 years ago when I took 7th. However the field was a bit slower than 2 years ago when it took a 1:49:45 to win. I’ll take the win with a smile though.
It was strange to run the race as the front runner. Another runner that seems to have his race schedule in sync with mine this Summer, Dustin Hinkle also was running the race and we’ve already had a couple of battles this year. I beat him in the Cougar 10 and he beat me in the Brooks Trailhead 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately he rolled an ankle in the first mile and dropped early on. I didn’t know he had dropped until later – I just saw him pulled off to the side when I caught up to him and passed him – so I kept expecting him to catch up later in the race.
Without anyone in view for most of the race I just tried to keep up my effort – based off of heart rate. I tried to keep the motor going about 160 to 170 bpm.
At the split between the 8 mile and 14 mile runners I was told I was in first so after that I was thinking about running somewhat tactically since I couldn’t see anyone else around. When I hit another aid station though they told me I was in second. I suspect that the guy I passed about a mile later had taken a wrong turn and cut off the hardest part of the course though because he didn’t appear to be someone who would be leading a race.
I ended up winning by more than 5 minutes and now that Dustin is out of the series the overall series victory is a real possibility. I’m sure we will be racing at the next two cougars and White River 50 though so I shouldn’t talk much trash.
After the win I went right back out on the trail to sweep the course (clean up all the markings and any trash). It was a good day.
Cougar Mountain 20 in early July.
- Brooks Rev III SRC Team Singlet in lime Green. Worked great really like the style and fit.
- Brooks Infiniti 3″ split shorts
- Brooks Pure Grit 3 – My favorite trail shoes ever