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The Quicksilver Challenge 5k / 10k / Half-Marathon

September 30, 2008 —

Over the weekend, I did my second 10k in 3 weeks. A running club in San Jose holds an annual trail running event with different distances. I chose to do the 10k distance as that is right now the longest distance I'm comfortable running.

The course was located in the hills south west of San Jose and the start was in a little valley at the edge of the Quicksilver park. The course description mentioned that there were going to be hills along the route, but I was not prepared for what the course actually consisted of. At the start was a topo of the route, and, being the map lover I am, I spent time reading the course layout. The starting line was somewhere around 600 feet. From there, the course would wind up a road to a single track trail, where it would continue to ascend. The ascent continued until about the 10k half-way point, where it then began the descent. In all, I read that there was about 1000 feet of elevation gain. Most of which was continuous. So it was quite difficult.

I didn't feel particularly confident in my run up the mountain, and went slightly slower down the second half since I didn't want to injure my knees. Somewhere in the last kilometer, a guy passed me, and actually scared me when he came up. I didn't think about it, but it turned out I had been in the lead, and this guy just overtook me for the lead. I followed him closely to the finish, finishing 7 seconds behind him. This put me in second place overall for the 10k! I could have won! Despite that stupid mistake, I did get second place and finished in 56 minutes, 58 seconds. So it wasn't a fast 10k, but the hill slowed everyone way down.

In the end, the race was difficult, and made me realize that I need to do more hill running. My current run routes are all in flat areas. I think that I'm going to start trying to do the dish path more often and work on my interval times there as a good way to train.