|Wear the Cape|
Normally, I scour the race website and read every piece of race literature I can beforehand. This time I was very casual about it and signed up that morning at the race. I was able to rope Bryan into running with me (yay!). He typically won't run anything longer than a 5K with me, and of course if there's a race shirt involved, how can he say no?
The race took place at the municipal fields the next town over from me. So a quick 10 minute drive and we were there. You have to love that race commute. After the race there was a fair with activities and vendors going on all afternoon. Most of them were already there in the morning to get set up.
I kind of knew that this race was a semi-trail race but I didn't really seem to process that part too much. Mind you, it'd been raining for 2 days straight earlier in the week, so lots of mud would be waiting for us.
Just before 8:30 we grouped up around the start line and then the announcer set us all off at once. We started on a pavement road but headed straight for the woods. The path getting through the woods was narrow, you couldn't run more than 2 people across and even that was pushing it. So with a big group trying to move through a small space we were kind of at the mercy of whatever speed the group was moving.
Just for good measure, there was also tons of mud, big, deep piles of squishy mud. So people were dodging around the mud, off the course, through trees, around branches etc. There were volunteers throughout the entire course pointing out big roots in the path, rocks etc. Trouble spots had also been spray painted the night before to draw attention to them. The organizers did a great job with this, but unfortunately I learned I don't think I like trail races.
Did I also mention that we were going uphill the first half of the race as well? All I could think was, I can't wait to get to the downhill part! But then going downhill through wet, slippery leaves proved to be a problem within itself.
I don't know if you guys have picked up on this but I'm not the most graceful person. 15 years of dance did nothing for me, I trip up stairs daily, am always spilling things on myself, I'm a mess half the time. Of course, about a quarter of the way through I rolled my ankle going over a rock-OW! I yelled to Bryan to stop and took a quick walk break. Being as stubborn as I am I decided to push on, we had to be coming out of the woods soon, right?
Luckily I was right and we got to a softer, flatter path. Yes, we're almost be done! I saw the mile 2 marker a while back...wait a minute why is there a mile 1 marker there? Does that mean 1 more mile to go? Must be. Through the parking lot back towards the start area, where's the finish? Wait, why is everyone else going back towards the woods? We have to go through the woods AGAIN!?!?!?!
Guys, I thought I was going to cry. Give me 13.1 miles of flat paved road any day. This trail thing was kicking my butt BIG TIME. The mile 2 marker that I saw early on in the course was correct...if you were on your second lap. I was not a happy camper. Me and my rolled ankle just wanted to finish and not have to dodge more tree roots again.
I sucked it up though because I'm stubborn and would rather finish slow than not finish at all. We made it through the woods the 2nd time around, back out onto the road (ah familiar territory) and pushed our way to the finish.
|Trying to look smiley while catching my breath!|
I was wiped out. Didn't a just run a half marathon the weekend before? How come a 5K was kicking my butt worse than that!? Either way I was happy to finish and happy to have participated for a good cause.
Shortly after the race there was a ceremony for overall and age group winners after that we stuck around for. There was also plenty of water, bananas, and bagels for us post race. I have to say, for this being the race's first year it was run impeccably.
Unfortunately, I found out that day I'm not the trail racing kind of girl. Bryan on the other hand loved the trail part. To him it was like an obstacle course which kept him more occupied. Once we got to the road he was not loving all the pounding on the pavement. Just another way in which we're complete opposites. I'd take the road over the trail any day!
|Made it out of the woods! Now where's my bagel?!|
I'm not sure if I would run this race again next year just because of the trail aspect, but maybe volunteer instead since it's such a great cause.
QOTD: What's your experience with trail races? Do you prefer them to traditional road races?