On Saturday, Jan. 16, I did the Dirty Snowflake Prediction Run for the fourth time -- and this time, I got it right! The premise is that you predict how long it will take you to run the race and then you run blind (without a watch/phone/timing device). The goal is to predict your time as closely as possible. I predicted 42:23 and came in 42:21 -- pretty damn good! But first and second places were 1 second and decided by a fraction.
The week before, there was a preview run, which I did. I think that really helped even though course conditions were slightly different. It's roughly 4 miles (more like 3.75) and starts at the Ledges. You do the Ledges trail and the Pine Grove trail, and it's pretty runnable. The Ledges are harder to run because it's rockier, narrow and busier as it's the beginning of the race.
When we did the preview run, it was threatening rain, but luckily we missed most of that. It was pretty pleasant to run actually. When we finished, it started raining harder and the temps were dropping so we got lucky there. I ran that run around an 11;20 pace. For the race, it was a little colder (20s) and I knew there was some ice, but it shouldn't be too bad. I figured the ice would make up for the "race adrenaline" so I'd probably run around the same time, maybe a touch faster. So that's what I predicted.
2012 race: 52:15
2013 race: 46:25
2014 race (major course change due to ice so not comparable): 37:59
2016 race: 42:21
The only problem with a prediction run is that you have to wait until everyone finishes for awards. After I checked my time, I knew I would probably place so I had to stick around. We were in the Ledges shelter, so that was helpful. There was ramen and coffee so it wasn't too cold while we waited. "We" is just me and one friend because no one else could do the race or was interested. I was glad he was there to keep me company. (He even filmed me accepting my medal. And by the way, big props to the race director for getting my name right!)
I really like this race. 4ish miles is a nice length, it's friendly for beginners and walkers, there's an indoor place to hang out and it's not super-expensive. I am loving being on the trails more even if it's not so good on my calf. I just need to strengthen everything more so I can be healthy for the Salt Fork race at the end of April.