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Saturday, August 05, 2017

(Late) Race Recap: Hyalite Hill Climb

From last year's race. (I wonder if photographers couldn't be rescheduled?)

Better late than never! I ran Hyalite as prep for The River of No Return 25k in June (recap here). 

The Hyalite Hill Climb took place on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 8:00am in Bozeman, Montana. It's described as an 8-ish mile point-to-point race with 1,4000 ft of climbing. [Race website]

An extra week to prepare!
I signed up the day before registration closed. We'd moved to Bozeman a month before and I was still having a hard time running, but knew I needed mental preparation for June's River of No Return 25k. Interestingly enough, on Friday afternoon the Hyalite Climb was pushed back a week due to snow on the course! I had an extra week to "prepare."

Pre Race
Alex decided to volunteer, so we road the school bus shuttle together to the start line. When he went off to get his aid station set up, I made a friend and we chatted about moving to Bozeman and being nervous about the race. It was super chilly at the start and I worried I was underdressed. After a few pre-race announcements, we set off around 8:05am.

Took this on a walk break in mile 7
The Race
Since this was eons ago, I don't remember much. I do, however, remember stopping just before mile 1 to take off my long sleeve shirt. So much for staying cold! The course winds along a creek on the way to Hyalite Reservoir and there were pockets of bright sun along the way.

Before race day, I'd had a few long runs, but they were always broken up with walk breaks and gasping-for-air breaks. For some reason (and this is still true), I run too fast in Bozeman and it means I can't run a solid 5 miler without stopping at least once. It's weird.

I think the elevation map on Strava was a little wonky. ;) 
I was not running particularly fast during this event and I walked. The climb was consistent, but I remember it really got crazy in the last few miles. Someone said, "the last mile is the worst!" before the race and, boy, were they right! It was tough. I walked A LOT in the last 4 miles. But even with walk breaks I achieved my race goal: finishing with a 12 minute or better pace (including a stop to chat with Alex at his aid station). I wouldn't set that goal for a flat 8-miler in Ohio, but, hey, Montana is crazy.

After party
Finish and Burrito Party 
I stayed close to two women in the last mile and if they walked, I walked. One woman finally pulled ahead and told me to run the rest of the way. We were almost there. I tried. But then I walked a little more. Finally, I came around the last turn and I could see the finish line and the reservoir. I ran in and passed a guy running with a stroller before I crossed the line.

Afterwards, there was a breakfast burrito bar with bacon, eggs, coffee, and snacks, followed by the awards ceremony. The winner ran a 6:xx pace. No biggie. I hung around for a bit before grabbing the shuttle back with Alex. It was a great morning and I'd do this race again in a heartbeat.

The payoff: great view

Stats and Thoughts
It's fun to look back at this race. It was tough, but not impossible. I was in okay shape, but I wasn't ready to race. It's been three months, I'm stronger, and I can't help but wonder how I'd do now. I'd for sure still walk, but not as much.

Final Time: 1:28:34 (11:04 pace)
Mile Splits: 11:44, 10:38, 11:17, 11:04, 11:51, 11:31, 12:02, 12:03
Overall: 46 / 64
Age Group: 11 / 14 (ouch)

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