Last week, I was a bit worried there wouldn’t be any snow for this morning’s Triple D Race in Dubuque, Iowa. The race is totally self-supported (no aid/water stations) and is run entirely on a rail to trails course. Snow adds another element to the challenge and thankfully, we got our first snow fall four days before the race! The weather was a nice 25-30 degrees with the only a little headwind when outside the tree line. I wore Yaktrax and carried some water in a Camelbak. I took an iPhone to track the route and also used it for music.
The first 10 miles went very smooth and I felt good. Around mile 15, the legs were tiring fast due to the loose snow. It felt like running in sand and with every step I was slipping. The only stop between the start and finish was mile 22, where you had to checked in at the Handle Bar (a bar in Durango). It was pretty tough to leave food and drink to go run 4 more miles, but I knew I had dry clothes waiting for me at the finish in my drop bag. For the last four miles, I ran with a guy from Osh Kosh, WI and he kept a great, even pace. Me on the other hand, walked, ran, walked, ran and repeated this until we finished together. The finish line was another bar and it never looked so good. Overall, it took about four hours and below is a map of the run and pacing chart. The two dips in pace at the beginning is where I took off and put back on the Yaktrax (a portion of trail was gravel, without snow). The big dip is when I reached the checkpoint and the waves at the end happened because of my running/walking technique. Fun race and I’m planning on coming back next year!