Featured photo for Rattlesnake Rumble

Rattlesnake Rumble

All right! I am starting to feel really good while running now, though you would not know it from the results. Or the sheer number of fellow Coloradoans passing me during a race, again!

The Rattlesnake Rumble was at Cottonwood Glen Park and benefited the Fort Collins Youth Cross Country Program. It is now the first cross-country race I have ever entered. What did it entail? 7.3 kilmeters (or 4.5 miles) of running, 16 hay bales and 8 or so logs to hurdle over, plus the occasional irregularly shaped mounds of dirt to ascend and descend. There were also sections of 10-inch-wide singletrack channeling through green and golden grass, along with occasional dirt and gravel roads which were actually the fastest segments of the race. Interesting course for sure.

I may have started out too fast as within the first 10 minutes about 2 dozen people were blazing by me, but I never slowed down and no one passed me in the last 20 minutes of the race. (Never mind that during the entire race, I did not pass even one single person!) Actually, I felt smooth and relaxed, maintaining a cadence over 180 steps per minute the entire way. It was a 2-1/4 loop course, and during that last segment, I even managed to pick up the pace a smudge while transitioning into a 4-count in/out breathing pattern (i.e., 2 steps per exhale) from my usual 6-count. I sprinted in the last 100 yards, recalling my interval workouts for the previous weeks.

Now if I can only increase my cruising speed. My final time was 34:21, or a 7:34/mile average, or 29th out of 67 people. While I am okay with my average pace considering the obstacle-laden course, man, that’s only 57th percentile! Then again, there seemed to be only 1 or 2 stragglers in the field, and virtually everyone at this small meet was a serious runner. The overall winner finished in 27:25, or a 6:02/mile average. How did he do it? I don’t think his leg turnover could have been much faster than mine, if any? Does he just have a lot more spring in his steps? Hmmm…

Oh, one more note. There were no rattlesnakes in this race. The weather this morning was probably too brisk for those cold-blooded reptiles!

X-country runners coming into the finishing chute at the Rattlesnake Rumble in Fort Collins.
There were logs to jump over along the course.
And hay bales!
There may have only been about 70 people doing the race, but they were fast.
After the race there were awards... and a leaping dog...