Rails to Trails Ultra 2014

Distance : 31 miles
Finish : 5:03:13
Rank : #12 (overall)

This is race is one of my favorite race because the race director is one of my favorite people.

This year course was different from the last year event. Since the trail got a pretty bad erosion, so the park had to close most of the trail section. Instead of 2 loops of out and back as its original course, Dan Hernandez, the race director, had to cut it down into 6 loops of 5.2 ish miles.

The race was started just outside the Fort Pulaski area. We started ran on the road to a roundabout and continue to enter the trail inside the park. The trail was pretty much flat with roots and steps here and there occasionally. Then we ran a couple of miles on a flat single trail which run around the Fort Pulaski. When the fog disappeared, we could see the beaten up exterior wall of the fort from the war.
At the end of this section, we would meet the first aid station that was at the junction of in and out section. This in and out section started with a road that run through a bridge to enter the trail section, where we could only access a short portion of it. The trail was a flat course with tons of pebbles decoration. And at the end of the closed section we were greeted by 2 lovely volunteers, who were recording our BIB info and our time. After the in and out section, and got back to the junction where the aid station at, we turned left and ran back into the trail to head back to the starting line.

My first 3 loops was going great. I could manage a pretty good pace and keep up with the other front-runners. Even in one point, I could pass Masumi, he s a strong runner, though he ran with injury that day. Also, I were able to reduce the gap between me and Bren in lap 4, Bren is another fast runner who is an ambassador for ZEMgear. But on the lap 5, my nightmare was started. My left hamstring started to flare up. It s part of my fault, I didn’t have enough training after injury and 1.5 months overseas vacation (I know, excuses). First, I tried to stretch it a few times, it helped for a moment but it was on and off frequently, this is the point where Masumi caught up with me again. The worst moment didn’t stop there, on the lap 6, my hamstrings started to ignore me and refused to move. I was forced to walk a few times.
At the end, I did finish and still make a better time then my last year race.
It was a pretty good day after all. Love the people, the fellow runners, and what a good way to start a year.

Finish Line1 Finish Line2 Finish Line3 Finish Line4 Finish Line5 Finish Line6
41:37 1:23:48 2:08:15 2:58:42 4:00:56 5:03:13

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