On a whim, I decided to run the Strider's Winter Racing Circuit 30K in beautiful Huntsville, UT. 30K is 18.6 miles for those who don't do metric.
Huntsville is located east of Ogden and about an hour from Salt Lake City. I got up early and left at about 5:40 for the 7:30AM start time. The drive up there was relaxing and easy. Oddly enough, my car reported that the temperature was 48F out. By the time I reached the race start, at elevation roughly 5500 feet, the temperature was down to 33F. I was very glad that I packed my gloves and an extra shirt or two.
The race started on time and I started out an easy 8:15 min / mile clip. The first few miles had a slight downhill and I held back quite a bit. I was mostly using this as a training run in preparation for the Ogden Marathon. You can view the race course and elevation profile here.
The first few miles take you along the rural streets of Huntsville. I remember passing my some historic looking blacksmith buildings, but the roads eventually lead out of town. You are treated to views of snow capped mountains, farm fields (with farm animals) and you get to run along the north and eastern edges of the Pineview Reservoir. Just a really nice run.
I expected the middle miles to be grueling as the elevation profile shows a substantial climb. However, it wasn't that bad. My pace did slow down to the 8:30's and I felt comfortable. I did wear two t-shirts and I found myself warm, but it wasn't terribly bad. They had water / Gatorade stops every 3 miles but I brought my own camelback, which despite the extra weight, helped me stay hydrated.
I was able to pick up the pace again on the way back and nailed a few 8:15 miles. However, the last 2 - 3 miles had again a small rise in elevation and at that point I was tired (I was coming off a 50 mile week) and my pace slowed to the low 9's.
Overall, I finished 73rd place, 2:42 overall time (8:41 average pace) and 9th in my age division. I would've predicated a rough finish of somewhere in the 2:52 range so I was very happy with my performance and that I finished pretty strong. I feel fairly confident that my training will make the Ogden marathon a decent experience. Here are the results.
After the race, I did snap some pictures of the area and the western edge of the reservoir. I have attached them here.