|Don't pretend you wouldn't do a race just for this awesome swag.|
Although my family went out to dinner for Thanksgiving, we used our place as home base. So, I still had to clean, and later I made some special desserts for me after everyone went home. As a result I got to bed way too late the night before, as usual. The alarm went off at 7:15 a.m. Friday, inconceivably late for a race day, but that was still plenty of time to make a carb-heavy breakfast, take the mutts outside, and head out. We found the park without any problems and had plenty of time to pick up our numbers and use the restroom before the race meeting at 10:50 a.m.
It was a small race, a couple hundred people max doing both the 7.5-miler and the half marathon, so they counted us down and sent us off with a siren. We hung back and started at the rear of the pack and settled into a slow pace to accommodate the mud, rocks, slick leaves, and slippery bridges. It was a chilly day but not too cold, and although it was cloudy the rain was holding off. It was a great day for running!
The park was gorgeous and the trails were never unrunnable. There was only one hill so large we had to hike up, and the mud was never so bad we couldn't just hop around it. I tripped over a few roots but I was able to remain upright throughout. Since we weren't in this for the time (and since it was the first of the distance for us and a guaranteed PR, haha), I stopped to take a few pictures:
|I'm a sucker for a pretty water crossing.|
|Crooked and slick, yet pretty bridge.|
|Cool air and still water.|
|It was awfully brown and gray, but still pretty (I think).|
|Another bridge through the marsh.|
There were some slight adjustments made to the course to avoid super slippery spots, so it ended up being closer to 7.6 miles. I forgot to turn off my Garmin at the end of the race so I had to guesstimate time and pace based on the info I had. It ended up begin about a 13:30 minute per mile pace, which is almost exactly the same pace as our more technical but shorter run a few weeks ago, and landed us both dead last in our age groups. But considering that we were there to have fun, and that we stopped to take pictures, and that we aren't trail runners, we didn't even care.
TL, DR: This is a great race! Pretty course, not too challenging for a trail race, fun swag, and WAY more fun than waiting in line at zero dark thirty for a a few bucks off a crappy TV. If it comes back next year I'm signing up for sure.