Monday, November 17, 2008

Warda Cardiac Run 25K

The Cardiac Run race happens every year at Damon Nolan's Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda, TX. The ranch has pine forests, open grasslands and even an oil rig! The 25K race consists of 2 loops of 12.5K each, with about 325' of elevation change in each loop. The course is mostly runnable except for a few small but steep hills in each loop. There is one aid station in each loop apart from the Start/Finish area.

The 25K this year started at 10am, in bright but very windy conditions. For the first 3 miles, as my muscles were warming up, I felt some pain on the outside of my right knee. The pain however went away soon and I hit a comfortable stride after the first aid station.

Joe P. who was on his second loop of his 50K run caught up with me here and we ran together for about 3 miles running at a fast but comfortable pace. At around mile 6 though, as Joe and I were running astride, Joe's brand new shoes caught some mesh and sent him tumbling over my way. Joe was fine though and just got up and ran hard again!

As we pulled into the S/F area at the end of the first loop, the clock showed 1:17. After a minute replenishing gels and water, I started out on the second loop feeling more comfortable. And knowing that this was my last loop helped to push a pace that was definitely among my best for long runs. I finished the second loop and the race at 2:28, doing a negative split by 4 mins from the first loop. Quite easily, a personal record for me.

After the race, I walked into the ranch house, and had some wonderful food prepared by Damon. Joyce, Jeff and Robert also joined us here and Damon regaled us with stories about the ranch and activities in the ranch. After a while, I walked out to the finish area, and saw Joe finish in 4:59! A fantastic time, and then soon, Savi also rolled in for a personal record for her. Ganesh had started earlier and finished and left for San Antonio for a marathon the next day!

A wonderful race set up informally with very friendly volunteers and the good running conditions made it a memorable and enjoyable experience. The trails and the informal atmosphere reminded me a lot of my first trail race, the Rocky Hill Ranch 25K. I appreciate all the hard work that Damon and his folks put in to make this a great race for all the runners!

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