Field: small, less than 100
Spectators: Umm, it's a trail run
Start: Clinton Nature Preserve
Course: Trails, powerlines, small steam crossings, some rock slopes, 5000+ft elevation change
Schwag: Dri-fit T-shirt, a signed letter from all the scouts about what being a scout means, and all the gummy bears I could manage
On Saturday I head out with the Jayhawk for my first trail race in over 3 years. It was the Jayhawk's first trail race ever. I wrote a little about why I wanted to run this race so much in my race precap. The race was organized by Boy Scout Troop 39 as part of their bridging process to Eagle scouts and to raise money for their summer camps. The boys marked the route out, made the signs, worked check-in, aid stations, and the finish line, and handmade the race awards. They also presented the colors in the pre-race meeting. Overall, they did a great job!
Pre-race smiles, event shirt, and scouts mingling at the start.
Instead of the traditional gun or air-horn to start the race, the signal was 12 or so Boy Scouts screaming "GO!" at the top of their lungs. Can't imagine a louder way to get moving! I took out at a good clip to get a good position before heading into the single track trails. It was a good course. There was a good amount of climbing without being too technical. I enjoyed the climbing parts, but I still descend like an old lady. I noticed a distinct slowdown at every descent. Probably something I need more practice at. The races split around 5 miles in (the 39kers do 3-8.3 mile loops), and instantly the entire pack I was running with was gone. Since I had been relying on the people in front of me to lead the way, I was a bit nervous to have to start navigating on my own. After the split there were far less flags and markers along the course. More than once I looked behind me to see if there was anyone following, but no luck. I was all alone on the trail, but since the sun wasn't out, neither were the snakes. I kept at it since the trail was well defined (the lack of flags just made me second guess myself). When I finished, there was a small crowd including many cheering scouts! I gobbled down a few gummy bears (ok, quite a few) and waited for the Jayhawk to arrive.
Still all smiles post race.
As I waited, I learned that a 13 year old girl almost won the race, but fell! Rough way to lose one! A lot of 39kers came through while I waited and fewer and fewer 10kers were arriving. I started to worry a bit because it was getting later than I expected to see the Jayhawk (and we had forgot his inhaler so he didn't get his prerace puffs). Then out of nowhere, he walked up behind me. Turns out he missed the split and ran a good chunk of the way with the 39kers, before getting a volunteer to point him in the best way back to the finish. The Jayhawk was pretty tired by the time he found me probably due to his hilly 7 miler. Though he was bummed to have missed the turn, I was quite proud of him since it was his longest run to date (silver lining)!!
Handmade race awards from the Boy Scouts
Overall, the race was a lot fun. I finished in 1:10 which was good enough for 7th overall and 2nd in my age group. The Jayhawk definitely gets the award for the longest 10k! The course was challenging without being too hard for a non-trail person. We are not in anyway embarrassed that we got smoked by a 13 year old girl. The Boy Scouts did a great job and we will return again next year!
Race Goals Check-in:
- Finish unharmed, in one piece, and still in working order (this does not include scrapes, bug bites, other small flesh wounds). A few scrapes and aches, but nothing to worry about.
- Do not get lost. After a few nervous moments, I found the finish!
- Do not step on a snake and/or get bitten by one. Didn't see a one!
- Have fun. Yes!
- Don't leave Jayhawk behind. He almost got himself left behind by getting lost, but since he had the car keys, I waited for him.