The last three years I have participated in the Xterra Triathlon at Sugar Bottom near North Liberty, IA. The tri is an off road course (1,500M Swim, 15 mile mtn bike, and 10k run). Because I lack a mtn bike and pretty much all swimming ability, I sign up for the team option and only do the run portion. It’s fun for me to watch the other participants but also get a challenging trail run at the same time. Last year, I ran a 49:27 for the 10K. This year, I ran 47:46. Both days were pretty hot. I think the difference was better training for trails, minimilist shoes, and better weather acclimatization (hot for the last 2 months!).
The best part, I felt sluggish during the run, I can’t wait to see what racing times are going to be like this fall.