Squirrelly Six Mile Trail Race Report!

Hi friends!  I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!  Mine started out in one of the most fun ways possible (seriously!)- my first trail race!  When I first started running last summer I was perusing a local running website for potential races to run.  The Squirrelly Six Miler immediately piqued my interest but, being a new runner, I figured I wasn’t quite ready for such a race yet.  This year, however, I was ready!

I awoke early Sunday morning to bright skies and cool weather, ready to tackle the race.  The race was held in Thatcher Park in Voorheesville, so I had about an hour drive.  I have to say, I felt like a very dedicated runner going to sleep early on Saturday night when a lot of people were likely out partying.  Although, let’s face it- it’s not like I would have been out partying if I didn’t have a race to attend in the morning anyway 😉  I found my costume in Target the day before- the selection was quite limited but I managed to snag a ladybug outfit from the girls section (I think it was supposed to be a dress, I wore it as a shirt :D)  I rocked my cold gear for the first time this season, laced up my trail sneakers and hit the road!

When I got there, I immediately met up with Jen, who was a bumblebee 🙂

It was a lot of fun to see everyone in their costumes.  We found one of the squirrels, so we had to get a picture:

Do you like my orange hat?  It was a part of our race swag!  I wore it during the race and it actually really came in handy- parts of the course were super windy!

Jen and I decided that we would run part of the race together.  The race started and we were off!  There were a lot of fun decorations around the course and everyone was happy to be there.  “This isn’t so different from road racing,” I thought to myself.  Then, the hills came.  Holy hills batman!!  I’ve never walked during a race (except to take a gu, I think) but there was a lot of walking up the killer hills!

This photo doesn’t really do it justice but trust me, there were some serious hills for the first three miles.  When a runner next to me said that we were approaching the last hill, I could have cried with relief.  Okay, a bit dramatic but let’s just say I was happy 🙂  You know the hills are crazy when one of the race volunteers apologizes about the hill ahead!

Jen and I split off after the last hill- I was running slower to catch my breath and she zipped off.  She is one fast lady!!  Approaching mile 4 I caught a second wind and was so happy to be out on the trail.  It really is a different experience and it was such a nice change of scenery.  Approaching mile 5, my knee started to SERIOUSLY hurt.  I knew it was an IT band issue but I was ready for the race to be done!  The race support was highly entertaining and made the final miles go by quickly.

Yes, that is a gorilla in a tree.  Gotta love it!  🙂  I tripped and fell with about a half mile to go.  There was a girl right beside me that didn’t even stop to ask if I was okay, which I thought was odd.  If you see someone fall, isn’t it your natural reaction to point and laugh ask them if they are okay?  Thankfully I wasn’t injured at all and just kept going (Jen fell too and tweaked her ankle- I hope you feel better girl!).  As I turned the corner to run to the finish, some creepy character jumped out of the bushes and scared the daylights out of me.  Well-played! 

I crossed the finish line at about 1:13, a few minutes behind Jen.  It was so fun!

I have to say that I am really glad that I didn’t sign up for the half-marathon trail race.  This six mile trail race was harder than my half-marathon last month, if you can believe it.  Flat and fast road races are a world of difference from trail races.  I love both!  There is something to be said about running along in the woods, not really caring about your time (because let’s face it, you are going to run slower on the trails!)

After the race, Jen and I headed to Jake Moon, an awesome cafe that used fresh, local ingredients.  They even brought fresh apple butter to the table!  Love.  It was great to catch up with Jen and eat some delicious food.  There is nothing better than your post-race meal! 

Thoughts on the race/trail running:

  • The race was incredibly well-organized.  I would run it again in a heartbeat.  The volunteers were friendly and entertaining!
  • Be prepared to be wicked sore after trail running.  It is a whole different beast than road racing (in a good way!)
  • It was so fun to see everyone dressed up to run- I couldn’t believe some of the costumes!
  • Where can I sign up for my next trail race?

    How was your Halloween?  Have you ever run a trail race or dressed up while running?  Thanks Jen for all of the photos 🙂  Have a great day, friends!


Filed under Race Recap, Running, Trail Running

18 responses to “Squirrelly Six Mile Trail Race Report!

  1. It looks so fun! I’ll have to do this next year!!

  2. I have yet to dress up for a race, love your costumes! It’s crazy how different trail running is, I spend the majority of my time trying not to wipe out!

  3. i still haven’t done a trail race, but I really want to! I need to do one when I am back in KC.

    running in costume is so fun when you can find one that is comfy!

  4. Ahhh, running in costume!! I love it!!

    I’ve never done a trail run like that, but they look like so much fun. But– I would think they would be much harder than just a regular race! Good job!

  5. Julie

    Hi Katie,
    Wow, that looks like such a fun trail race! It looks challenging but very pretty. Jen took some great pictures:) I love your costume…not too bad for finding it a day before the race. I saw a few Lady Bugs at my Halloween race too! Nice work Katie! Take care!

  6. I wish I had dressed up in costume for my trail race this weekend too – oh well next year! I’ve ran 2 trail races – trail runs kick ass, the hills kick my ass and even going down hill can kick ass (I went down too fast and almost met the ground). Still, it’s so much fun. I actually can’t wait to do some mud runs – have you done any of those yet?

  7. I’ve never done a trail race. I see myself tripping and falling a lot. I am not what one would call graceful!

  8. So cute!! I love ALL the costumes. And that is so cool that you have such great access to trail races. I’ve been on the look out for some in my area. Hills are killer but once you are done you feel like your rocked it! Great job!

  9. Laura

    Cute costume! I used to work at Thatcher Park in high school, so I know how difficult many of those trails are to traverse! Good job!

  10. I love your costume!! You look soo cute. I have never run a trail race, but you made it sound really great. Maybe I can run this one next year as well.

    I’m coming up next weekend (11/12) for a wedding. My friend and I are going to run on Saturday morning. Are you around? And if yes, might you be interested in running some with us? Lemme know!

  11. This really has me wanting to run a trail race. I’ve never run in a costume before, but you look adorable! Did it get annoying at all?

  12. lowandbhold

    That sounds really fun! Totally rude that the lady didn’t ask if you were okay though : /

    I loved your costume 🙂

  13. J

    Great job on the race Katie!! Trail races are so much tougher than road races! Plus I always feel like I am staring at the ground the whole time so i don’t trip and fall!

  14. Good job!! And super cute costume! I’ll definitely look into doing this one next year, along with the Warrior Dash (Ed’s pick).

  15. Looks like lots of fun! I’ve never tried a trail race, so of course it sounds wicked hard to me.

  16. I love your costume! It’s so cute 🙂

    How is your knee?

    I am very surprised someone did not ask you if you needed help when you fell. Show some courtesy people!

    I have a 10K trail race coming up. They are much harder, aren’t they?! I just plan on running this one for fun.

    Great job!

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