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!