King of the Hill - Brett Winegar


King of the Hill Recap

This was a great race for me. For a 13-mile trail race with 2100 feet of vertical climbing in the Spring, conditions were a little windy but fair out at Los Lunas.  The race crew had everything set up and was prepping the burritos and pancakes for the post-race celebrations. We lined up, had a few final instructions, and then the gun.  At several different points during this race, I was anywhere from 5th position to 2nd, multiple times.  Jeff Cuno (stud trail runner and eventual winner) had pulled away early and it was a race for 2nd. I usually do a good job managing myself in the first half of these kinds of races. I was impressed with the 3 other guys I was racing with and how relaxed they looked--could I stay with them?  I could. The difference maker was the second long climb back up on the backside (you better like running in the sand for this part). At the start of the climb, I was in 5th place and by the top, I was in 2nd place. I was able to keep a cadence that was steady all the way up. However, Patrick Goschke (eventual 2nd place finisher) was clearly good on the descents and after we submitted the top for a second time, he caught me on the way back down, near the bottom. I stayed with him for a mile or so but at about 10.5 miles he gapped me on a short and unnecessarily steep descent--ridiculous. From there I was trying to keep him close, but he was literally inching away from me, especially that last mile. I took some looks back with a few miles to go but the two other guys were significantly gapped--I didn't need to worry about them.  I finished almost 5 mins faster than last year and ran my own race. I was definitely stronger on the climbs, but Pat ripped it up on the descents. The 2 other guys that mixed it up for the first half of the race faded more significantly but still ran well overall. I finished 3rd overall with a time of 1:35:26 (Jeff = 1:29:43, Patrick = 1:34:59). Really happy with my performance. Great rust buster and the body feels pretty good. Every mile of this year's race was at least a little faster than last year's.

Top 3 Men
(Jeff Cuno 1st, Patrick Goschke 2nd, Brett Winegar 3rd)

Next on tap is the Carlsbad 5000, April 2nd, with a solid Duke's Track Club crew representing!


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