Sunday, August 29, 2010

Celebrating the last weekend of August 2010: Continental Divide 10k Trail Run and Bano Bash Half Trail Marathon

Misty early morning driving to race start
To end out my month of 10k’s , I ran the 2nd running of the Continental Divide 10k Trail Run in Laurel Springs, NC on 8/28.  This race also served as the USATF National Championship for 10k Trail. If the event wasn’t less than a 30 minute drive from my house, I am not sure I would have attended. Bad-ass 10k mountain runners from various parts of the US would be there-and with all the “easy” trail running I’ve been doing for the past couple years, I didn’t want to be in their way.

Race morning I slept in until 7am and left the house just before 8am, winding up parked by just after 8:30. The first person I saw was Luke Lucas, a familiar face from several years ago. We hadn’t seen each other for awhile. This was to be the first of many reunions!

Luke on right, with teammate

Back of the packers at Men's race start
It was both excitement and nerves that I felt as I watched the men’s wave leave the starting line. This race was run in 2 waves with the men at 9am and women at 10:15am. It’d been a long time since I’d run something so technical. Last week’s SpringMaid Splash 10k was a good warm-up, yet I expected easy compared to what we’d run this day. Many of these guys, as expected were fast and I watched top 2 men Bobby Mack (41:59) and Ryan Woods (42:31) respectively, cross the finish line.
Bobby and Ryan moments after blitzing the course!
 I warmed up on and off for an hour intermittently running and walking the hills, cheering guys on and yapping with other women. At 10:15, our gun went off and bobbed the first several hundred feet off the flowery mountain top, headed into the woods.
Flowery mountain top...

One of the "groomed" trails....
Down and up and down and up. Grass, rocks, roots, mud, rocks, mud, ferns, repeat! I ran in 6th position for awhile and passed a girl on the 1st of (to me) the 2 “hiking climbs”, this one just before mile 3 and then passed Erin just after mile 3. I know her name because we ran within 30 seconds of each other for much of the 2nd half and she had enthusiastic, vocal supporters. Luke was out there too, cheering my name and encouraging me on. Thank you Luke! Many others called out to me to, yet I mostly didn’t do more than nod as I was trying to find my “edge” in this still mysterious world of 10k and do my best not to have Erin pass me.

Pretty stout!
As an ultrarunner, even tough 10k’s go by blazingly fast, and before I knew it, I was a the course highlight-an area fondly named the rockclimb, with less than a mile left to go. (This segment did indeed remind me of a slimy climbers approach trail).
The "blue trail" going up

This was the 2nd area when I hiked, only scampering the tiny flats in between the rocks. And then-Done!

National 10k Trail Champion, 27 year old Gina Lucrezi
Wow! Time went by very fast. No daydreaming allowed on this course! I think it was the constant focus that made time go so fast. I wound up in 4th place and 1st masters in 58:07. Fast girls Gina Lucrezi, Molly Nuun and Emily Potter with times of 52:04, 53:30 and 55:02 practically had the sweat dried before I joined them! Complete results here:
wearing jackets...
While awaiting awards, I enjoyed hanging out with Shannon Johnstone from Cary who was here with her new hubby on as part of a sort of postponed honeymoon. I think we were the only 2 wearing jackets!
Top 10 USATF women, Gina all the way to the right
Top 10 men USATF awards. Jason Bryant (one of the RD's in 10th on left)

This was an excellent race. I have no clue how to compare it to other mountain running events, yet this was pure authentic Southern Appalachian. Varied trails, ferns, mud, fog, mist, etc! I learned I had won some cash (super cool bonus) and headed home to do chores in the garden and clean the floor.

This weekend was a rare “back-to-back” event weekend for me. Rarely do I run 2 paid events per weekend, yet I’d recently heard about an inagural  ½ marathon on the trails of Hungry Mother State Park, with a late start time of 10:30am. I had a 3 hour run scheduled for this day, so this would be perfect! I arrived and ran for a little over an hour, expecting the hilly terrain would set me up for a 2 hour-ish finish. The run was the Bano Bash Half Marathon with option for a 10k. This was part of a series of 2 day festivities to support the Eric Albano Youth Soccer Foundation.

This morning at registration I learned that Eric had been a twin, like me and I got to meet his Mom, Dad, and surviving sister, Courtney. This knowledge sparked in me a sense of appreciation for my health and the memory of Cheryl which I had not expected, yet wholley welcomed.

The course was 2 loops around Hungry Mother Lake. The first loop was a bit stouter than the second, climbing almost to the top of Molly Knob, the second, still hilly, yet not as steep. The trail was 90% non-technical and a joy to run on. Again, this day, time flew and before I knew it I finished in 1:55:30, 4th overall and 1st female. This certainly was not a race for me, yet a morning of quality training while donating to a good cause.

The races, though not well-attended, were well-supported and organized perfectly. If this run happens again next year, I’ll do what I can do to help promote it-as it is a joy to run on those trails!
Top male and female....I wish I could remember Mr. Super-speedy's name: 1:35ish! (Check out www. for results and this guys name!)
Award winners, 1st running of Bano Bash Half Marathon 8/29/10
Ahh….trails! I Love running on ‘em! (Montrail Mountain Masochists were my shoes of choice this weekend!)
All this being said, congrats to my intrepid running friends who ran Cheat Mountain Moonshine Madness, revised Tour Du Mt Blanc and Cascade Crest 100 this weekend!


Rick Gray said...

You certainly had a fun weekend and you continue to place extremely high in these national title events, even when they are not your favorite race like a
10k. As usual, you continue to amaze us all with your wide range of abilities. Congratulations also on taking home a little money.

jenn said...

AWESOME JOB, ANNETTE!!! I was getting text messages yesterday afternoon from my southwest VA trail running friends telling me how awesome you ran at hungry mother SP! Congrats on 2 strong ( and FAST!) races this weekend!! ((HUG)) hope to see you soon! def in oct! because I've signed up for your 50k!! :o) YAY!! cant wait!!

(Mary) Shannon Johnstone said...

It was great hanging out with you and talking at the 10K. CONGRATULATIONS on doing so well !! I LOVE that picture of us. I have a couple to send to you in a minute—Anthony got a great one of you on the "rock climb"! And what an awesome weekend of you!! Congrats on the half marathon too. You are an inspiration and I love your positive energy. Thank you for sharing it. It does wonders on me.

Mike Albano said...

Ms. Bednosky,
Don't know much about blogging even less about running, but thanks for the kind words about Bano Bash. Just a humble thank you.

Anonymous said...

You are RAIL THIN girl! I can't imagine you being thinner. That was certainly meant as a compliment. Men don't know how to frame things quite the way women do but you look great as you are and plenty thin! Love your blogging BTW.

amy said...

Hey Annette. It's Courtney (Eric's twin). I just wanted to let you know what an amazing women I thank you are. I wish that I could have spoken with you more at the Bano Bash but as soon as you told me you had also lost a twin also I became a little emotional...
As someone said earlier you are full of positive energy and I could feel that when I first met you. Stay strong and look forward to seeing you next year.

annette bednosky said...

Thank you for your kind words friends! And from the post from anonymous-you helped me realized I really didn't need to be sharing my concerns about fleeting body image glitches! I am grateful to be healthy and strong and to run in the woods!