“The No Name 30k was a fun race. A race where one could really open up their stride. A race I knew would be perfect for speed work. So I found myself, two weeks prior, at the track again working on my turn over. I gotta tell ya, it felt goooooood to open up my stride again.
Saturday, 10/07/2017, the morning of the race. Felt great and ready to do what I needed to do – go out there, have fun, and execute my long tempo run. The race starts and I find myself up front. For a moment I was unsure if I needed to slow down. To be truly honest with you, I never found myself in that situation – alone in front this early in a race. So I said screw it – I’m going to hold this position for as long as I can.
As the miles started to fly by I was gaining for confidence. I felt great! Looked at my watch and didn’t realize how fast I was moving. Still, I pushed on. Mile 8, I get to a junction where a group of mountain bikers were hanging out. They yelled and encouraged me to keep moving the way I was, so I kept moving. Mile 9.5 I knew something was wrong – I should’ve been at the turnaround point by now. Kept moving forward and knew right away, as I stare across the field at the finish line, that I had made a wrong turn… I kept my composure, ran around looking for the trail, and finally found a way to the turnaround point. As I started my descent I noticed that the second place was now first and making his way up the climb. Panic mode starts to set in and I put on a chase – using all my energy that I was saving for the end.
1st place was no where in sight and so I continued to chase. Then again, another junction. This time the trail marker was down so I just went with my gut and headed down one direction. Surprise surprise, I somehow managed to get lost again! This time I ended up in a neighborhood. At this point I didn’t see no reason to keep pushing forward – I just wanted to finish now! So I kept running…and running…and running. Then I ran into first place as he already made it past one of the other turnaround points. With another boost of energy I gave chase! But my legs were too tired to keep up with the pace that I had set for myself earlier.
In the end I finished 2nd place overall. I’m not mad about it at all! This was all my fault and I learned a few lessons along the way. I’m definitely going to partake in this race next year. There’s some unfinished business I need to take care of.”
—- Rocky Castro