Sunday was a different kind of race. The distance isn’t too much an issue for most runners, 5 miles … that’s not even a training run for those that hit the road, trail and everything else on a weekday. However if you throw some hills into the mix, along with varying terrain then the 5 miles can seem like a real challenge. The Fair Oaks Sun Run (aka “The Chicken Run”) provides all those challenges in it’s 5 mile loop starting and finishing at the Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse in the Old Fair Oaks Village.
Like most Buzz Oates Run Sac Race Series events the field was full of Fleet Feet Racing, River City Rebels, and Buffalo Chips runners.
The course starts off with a nice little downhill, however some may think this is a chance to really kick in the speed. Well no more than half a mile into the race, you hit the first of the four hills. The “Grand Daddy” is the first challenge, though for most runners it is a challenge but nothing that will set you back too far. Before you hit the first mile marker, you come across the second hill “Hernia Hill”. Again this first mile, has some challenges but can definitely be accomplished at a steady pace. For me I was able to hit the first mile marker at a time of 6:51.
From mile marker 1 to mile marker 2 is where you can make up some speed and time. The course has a big downhill and some pretty flat ground, however if your not familiar with running on gravel and some weeds, this might be a challenge for those that only run pavement. Mile 2 was my best mile with a 6:47 time.
Miles 3, 4 and 5 for me were a bit of a struggle with the rolling hills and the final 2 larger climbs at the end (“the beast” and the “last gasp”). This is where I think additional hill training could be beneficial for me so I can hit those rolling hills and climbs a little bit harder. I finished 3, 4 and 5 with mile splits of 7:19, 7:21, and 7:25. I was able to finish the run at a total time of 35:56 with a 7:12 per mile pace, finishing 34th overall and 5th in the men’s 30-34 age group. Not a bad way to start off the Sunday and a reminder of the importance of hitting more hills. Having these types of races are always fun because it reminds me the importance of doing things that I might not favor a little more to help make me a better runner.
|Fair Oaks Sun Run elevation map|