Phil Germakian's 2012 The Febapple 10 Mile Trail Race

I registered for the NJ Trail Series Febapple race sometime in January, with the hope of running the 21-mile race. This race would also be a good opportunity to support my MPF Campmor teammates, and promote my upcoming race, Lost Brook Trail Race, which benefits the Tenafly Nature Center.  However, about a week before the event, I decided to switch to the 10-mile race, because I had not gotten in enough long training runs and felt my legs would not be able to handle the 21-mile distance.  Since October of 2010, I have been managing a tendinitis injury in my lower right leg.  There have been multiple times when I felt my training progressing smoothly since then, only to have my tendinitis flare up again after a hard effort out on the trails.  In order to prevent this from happening again this year, I have been particularly cautious with my training plan, and have been successful thus far with this ‘slow build’ approach.

Phil & Lenny before the 10 Miler

Phil & Lenny before the 10 Miler

The 10-mile event at Febapple has become more of a training run/assessment of my current fitness, rather than a true race for me. Nevertheless, when I hear go, my competitive spirit ignites, the adrenaline pumps, and my legs follow suit.  So undoubtedly, I found myself running with the lead pack for the first two miles at a blazing 7:30 mile pace, before my brain finally turned on, and told me to slow down.  Around mile two, I backed off from the leaders and settled into a more comfortable pace in the 9:00 mile range until the end of the first loop.  During these first four miles, I was thankful I chose to wear my Montrail Mountain Masochist Outdry running shoes.  The course had a lot of wet and muddy spots from heavy rains the day before, but I was able to run through it and keep my feet dry with these beastly shoes on.  I also quickly realized in these first miles that I had overdressed.  I was overheating, and very uncomfortable.  Luckily, at mile four when I came back through the start area, Julian, my teammate, was there and I was able to pass my unwanted layers to him.  Thanks buddy!  


Now I felt much more comfortable heading out on the next section of the course, that I was able to pick my pace back up a little.  At about mile 6, I spotted a runner from the 10-mile race not too far ahead of me, and began reeling him in.  At about mile 7 or so I came through the aid station that my friends, Randy and Mara, were volunteering at.  Since, I was in hot pursuit, I was only able to mumble a quick hello, while blowing past them.  Sorry guys, you know I love you.  At this point, I had the runner in front of me in my sights.  However, I was only able to close the gap to about 25 yards, when he surged away never to be seen again.  Oh well, it was fun and worth the try.   I continued on the final miles alone with my thoughts as company.  I was just happy to be outside running through the woods.  There is really nothing like it...

P.S.  I ended up finishing in third place, just 27 seconds behind the guy I was hunting in a time of 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Maybe I didn’t take it too easy out there after all.     


Thank you to the NJ Trail Series, all the volunteers, and my MPF Campmor running teammates who shared the trails with me, and those who gave their time to volunteer.

A special thanks to our running team sponsors: CampmorMontrailNathansports and Mountain Hard Wear for providing us with great products to help us better enjoy the outdoors.