Anyway, I was very excited to do this series with my friend Danielle (even though she is SO much faster than me). I had never done a trail race before and this one isn't too far from where I live. The price is fantastic--just $20 a race AND you get a t-shirt! I wasn't expecting a shirt for that price, but was glad to have one.
The weather was nearly perfect, a bit more humid than I care for, but it wasn't raining and it wasn't snowing. I arrived early, per usual, since I'm always worried about getting lost, not finding parking, or missing the start, and headed to get my bib and shirt.
the plane is in honor of some guy who passed away
Danielle showed up and we managed to get a selfie out of the way before the race started. I wasn't carrying anything this race so I needed to leave my phone in the car.
she always looks way cuter than me in selfies. she's a selfie pro.
Anyhoo, more friends arrived and more selfies needed to be taken. Really, that's the whole point of a race, isn't it?
Oscar style selfie
And of course, regular type pics too.
And then it was time to start. We all gathered at the start for a bit of pre-race instructions, race dedication, thank-yous and all that. Then it was time to go! And off we went.
waiting to start!
I am truly the ONLY one who smiled and waved at the camera. #noshame
Mile 2: 11:33
Mile 3: 12:58
The middle miles were slow and slogging. I really felt like I was moving fast, but I guess I wasn't. Each time my watch would beep I'd look down and be shocked at the time. The first water stop was around Mile 2.5 and I was so thankful to grab a cup of water. It was humid and I wished I had brought my hydration belt. Next time for sure!! As I stepped off the trail to drink my water, a stupid bug flew into my eye! Ugh. As if all the sweat dripping into my eyes wasn't enough, now there was bug there. Thankfully, the volunteer at the table dumped water in my eye for me and the bug swam off. Not to mention the cold water felt great! Thank you, kind volunteer!!
12:58 was a little depressing, but some of that time was the water station and bug removal so maybe I wasn't quite as slow as my time shows, but that section from Mile 2 through Mile 4 was pretty hard. It was technical and in places, steep. I ended up walking at least 3 of the steeper hills just to try to lower my heart rate a little. Believe it or not, walking was not really all that slower than my "running".
the two water stops were just above where the E is in Misery. Pretty smart planning for them as they had them back to back and the volunteers could run between the two tables.
There was another water stop at about Mile 4.5 ish which I didn't stop at and looking at the time for that mile, I guess I'm glad I didn't since it would have been even slower.
Mile 4: 12:28
Mile 5 was a fabulously flat stretch of what was almost a road. I was thinking I was about done and maybe it was going to be just like this for the rest of the way. I was able to speed up and pass about 5 people! I felt spectacular! I felt like I looked like Meb with my strides being a bit longer now that there weren't any roots to watch out for and my turnover increased. I was on FIRE! Go ME! Pass everyone! Win the race!
courtesy of Leslie Witham--picture taker extraordinaire
Then it was there.
Another fucking hill. And more roots.
Balloon deflated. Parade rained on. Cheerios pissed on.
4 of 5 people I just passed, passed me again. I had used up all my gas on what I thought was the final stretch. I could have gone another mile like that with flat and smooth, but roots and hills? Nope.
Mile 5: 9:56
Still pretty respectable time for that mile.
You could tell the finish was near, there were people milling around and cheering. Runners that were already finished were walking back up to cheer on those who were finishing. Behind me I could hear the final person who I passed that didn't pass me back. He was right behind me and I just knew he was going to go by me.
You know what though? He didn't. He came up next to me and said, "Let's finish this strong. Pick it up, you are almost done". I didn't think I could, but I didn't want to let him down. That sounds so stupid, I didn't even know this guy, but I really just didn't want to let him down by not trying. So I did. I went a little faster. And then I could see the finish up ahead and I began to sprint. (I use that term very loosely. I felt like it was sprinting.....) He kept with me and never passed me but instead continued to push me on--"Great job, nice finish!".
Thank you, nice man.
Courtesy of Tamerella photographs--in the process of dying. Nice, cheering guy behind me. Thank you guy!
Mile 6: 9:05 Which seems really fast, but my Garmin showed the course to be short--5.72. So, 9:05 isn't really all that fast. But whatever, it probably lost satellites in all those trees and the climbing part is worth a least a mile, so really it was a 7 miler. Right?
The snacks at the finish were watermelon and water which was perfectly fine with me. I grabbed some of both. Both were just about gone though when I was there and I was pretty much in the middle. I hope they had more refreshments coming for those that finished after I did. I don't expect much with a $20 fee but I do hope there was something at the finish for the back-of-the-packers.
I wasn't able to hang around after for the awards and drawings (if they had any), and I didn't see any official results until coolrunning posted later in the day.
Official time 1:06:01
They didn't divide it up into age groups and men vs. women but I did my own figuring of the 40-49 women and I was 10/27.
I cannot wait to conquer the next two races. 9 and 12 miles are going to be brutal, but at least I have some idea of what to expect now. There are still some spots available for both races, so if you care to join Danielle and I for the next ones, you'd better hurry up and register.