This is hands down one of my absolute favorite races.
I found out today that I’ve run this race every year that it’s been held. I’m hoping to do it again next year but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Dad and I arrived with plenty of time. He passed it taking pictures.
I started closer to the front than last year hoping to avoid the bottleneck at the trail head. I took off faster than I intended. That’s what I get from starting so far forward.
Unfortunately there’s really no way to avoid the bottleneck. It definitely didn’t take as long to get through it this time though.
The first bit of trail went by very quickly. Did I mention that I ran without music? I decided to make this race yet another test/training run. I felt so much more in tune with my body, how I was racing and the trail. I could hear my breathing and the breathing of the person behind me. This was very helpful because a couple guys decided not to say “left” when passing.
When we got back on the road I kept chugging along, even on the incline portions.
I felt really strong. At the same time though I started to notice the humidity. By the end of the race I was dripping.
We reentered the trail and I felt really strong. I kept wanting to run faster. I think if it had been daylight I would have gone faster. I stayed pretty much at the speed I was so I could avoid wiping out.
When the trail opened up I started to hear cheers from the finish line. I knew there were some pretty significant inclines still to come but this year I was ready for it. I kept powering up and as much of a sprint as I could to the finish.
Final time according to my Garmin? 27:37
Not my fastest 5k by a long shot but it was a course PR by a full minute!
Again I realized how much I loved trails…and that the only time I’ve ever run trails has been during races. I think I need to fix that before I run 31 miles of it in January. 😀