First and Last Trail Race
I ran another 5k race with my friend, Ang this morning. The race was pretty small and the online registration didn’t give a lot of information about the course. It did say it would be a partial trail course through a nature preserve. Okay. I’ve never ran a trail race before, so I was thinking (or hoping) that the trail might be paved. Hey, it could happen. Yesterday, there was some pretty heavy rain that moved through our area and some roads were flooded. At least it wasn’t supposed to rain this morning! Whoo hoo!
I met Ang and her hubby, Nick at the starting line where we got our timing chips and t-shirts. My hubby, Bud came too. He would be heading off to take a nap in the car while we ran, as Nick played a little frisbee golf (or “frolf” as we call it). As we lined up for the race to start, one of the directors attempted to describe the route. She said a “gator” would be driving ahead of us so we could follow that. Well, that’s great for the really fast, competitive runners. But what about the not as fast, middle-of-the-packers? Not to worry! There would be orange cones along the way and orange spray painted arrows on the ground. She warned us to be careful because of muddy conditions and a bridge that may be washed out. At the end of the director’s confusing description of the course she gave a sarcastic, “Good Luck,” which sounded like it should have been followed by, “Cause you’re going to need it!”
The horn sounded and we were off! The first bit was easy enough. Since it was pavement, I was able to look ahead and zone out. Then we started running on the sidewalk, which is evil and has been known to reach out and grab feet to make one fall on their face. No zoning out on the sidewalks for me. Then we started heading into the nature preserve. It was tiny rocks at first, then grass, then slightly muddy trails. The mud actually wasn’t too bad. I heard Ang go, “Whoa-oah,” at one point where she kind of slid. The head-of-the-packers started to pass us now. One guy had his shirt off and must have really been into it because he let out this loud, “RAAAARRRR!!!!!” It reminded me of those The World’s Strongest Man guys with a name like Magnus Von Muesslmagnuson. Bud just told me it would be better if his name was Magnus Von Metamucilmagnuson. Thought I’d throw that in there for you guys. Anyway, as we laughed at RAAAR guy, the trail turned to grass again.
We reached the turn around point and I almost went the wrong way. There was this lady in front of me yelling, “HEY!!” to her running group members that had gone astray, and that snapped me out of my zombie-like trance enough to notice the orange arrow on the ground pointing right. Ang was also in the same zombie-like trance, and as I cut in front of her, she realized she was about to go the wrong way too. Then we saw the bridge we were warned about. There was straw spread out leading up to it, because it was probably pretty muddy. The bridge was over a creek that was swollen after yesterday’s rain. The water was about six inches over the bridge and just wide enough that we (and several other people, so it wasn’t just us) didn’t feel like we could jump it. We tried to find the shallowest spot and tip-toed in. At least only one shoe got soaked. So we ran on, squish, squish, squishing with every other step. Finally, we saw a clearing and made it out of the preserve!
We ran by part of the frolf course, and then finally back on pavement. Ang spotted Nick and waved and I “raised the roof” because I’m an idiot. We rounded the corner toward the finish and noticed we would have to turn off the sidewalk and run up a smallish hill through the grass to the finish line. As we figured out where we were supposed to turn, this guy and little girl were behind us racing to the finish, to try to beat us. Then, suddenly, Ang took off like a shot to race this dad and little girl. I was like, “What the hell? Where did that come from? Wait for me!!” In the end, the dad and little girl beat us, and Ang beat me. Good for Ang!
Then we all went out for breffie with our post race stench. Ang was smart and brought a change of socks and shoes. As I sat there with wet foot, I was jealous of Ang’s nice and dry tootsies. We were ignored at the hostess stand by some girl named Sarah who was asked twice if she was going to seat us. She was too busy talking to some old guy. I could not tell if he had corpse legs. Then we ate and chatted about silly things. The server asked us a couple of times, “Are you doing okay” as we talked, which we took as, “You’re done eating. Get the hell out.” So we did.