Don’t let the title fool you. Sunday's Rivanna Trail Time Trials produced a quality turn out of runners. 15 runners in total showed up to bang out a full loop of the Rivanna Trail (RT), and run in the counter-clockwise direction around Charlottesville starting and ending at Riverview Park. The conditions- cool, mostly dry and overcast- made for a good day for fast times though only a few out of 15 actually came to the Trials with the intention of busting out a true personal best effort. Not wanting to overdo it on a tender knee, at the last minute I bailed opting instead to work the Trials and not run it after all. In lieu off huffing and puffing my way around town on muddy trails I recorded the day in photos and set up two water stops with Clif bloks and gels. Though in reality, mostly I just sat around, waiting on runners while enjoying coffee and a warm spiced apple brioche from Albemarle Baking Company. 10 runners started in the 7:00am wave, one at 7:20am and four more started at 8:00am.
Part of the beauty and mystery of the RT is that sections of it often change, mostly due to construction projects or private property easement issues. A new trail section is re-routed or improved here, a road section is added there, yet somehow the Rivanna Trails Foundation and its army of volunteers always find a way to keep the loop intact. Thank goodness for that. In its current formation the Trail is slightly different than when I ran it hard one year ago this month. There is a little more pavement for starters but it is all hills. There are a few new sections of trail as well, some of which are only new due to construction and the path more or less remains the same. All in all, mileage wise, the entire loop is probably about the same as last year but I wonder if it is slightly harder now due to the changes.
Drew was the only runner to bust out a true loop in a personal best effort style finishing in a blistering 2:22. Eric gave chase, in route to a final marathon countdown training run but instead of following all Green RT signage he added bonus miles for himself on the Willoughby section. Andy Head-Not-In-The-Game Jones-Wilkins- AHNITGJW for short- was one of the favorites for the day but it was reported that he took a minimum of four wrong turns and added at least three bonus miles to his Trials run. Same with Barry. Not knowing the Trail, it is easy to take a wrong turn. Know the Trail, Gents. Everyone else came out mostly to have fun and socialize. That they did. The 7:00am crew started and finished together, minus a few runners coming in moments later. There was only one DNF, reportedly due to old-age-syndrome. Sophie was a DNS; it was reported that she stayed out too late the night prior at her sister’s concert.
So what does all of this say about the CAT crew? Are we lions or are we just a bunch of kittens? Aside from Drew, we may have to hold a makeup exam after all.
|Most of the 7am starters.|
|Drew crushing it through Barracks.|
|Same with Eric.|
|Stephen at Moores Creek.|
A clip of the mostly intact 7am crew at the creek:
Usually more graceful, here is a funny clip of Drew at the creek: