As I drove up the tiny hill that led to the race, I started to see indications of the type of trail I’d be running. In contrast to last week’s trail marathon, this course did not play to my strengths. The Chewacla trail is single-track, mostly flat, and covered in roots and rocks and other trippable things. My heart sank as my dream of another competitive performance started to diminish.
When I arrived, around 30 minutes before the start time, my hopes were further dashed as saw that the turnout was good for a race in its second year. Competition would be steep, with some strong local (and non-local) runners in the 20k distance. I didn’t know how I’d do, but I resolved to stick to my race plan: start at a steady pace and maintain it until the last three miles, then push hard if I was feeling up to it and circumstances demanded.