One of the main reasons I like this event is that the course is mapped out in Christmas tree ornaments and there are enough runners in front or behind you, so you don’t feel lost. I really like trail running, but part of the reason I don’t do it all that much is because: a) I haven’t figured out how to fit it in to a busy IM training schedule, and 2) I don’t like getting lost in the woods. When I run, I often prefer to know where I am and how much longer I have to go. I know that really isn’t the “Zen runner” mentality, but my neurosis sometimes trumps the free feeling of getting lost. I think I feel “free” enough when I’m pounding the pavement on a route I know and love. Anyway, I digress.
There we were. I convinced a few friends to join me and we all met at the start. Gerry (the BF) and I drove out together and I paired up with my best friend Sydnie to run with me. I figured it was good girl talk time with Syd, since we weren’t planning on running hard and based on the terrain, there’d be a fair amount of hiking. And if Gerry broke up with me because I convinced him to do this stupid ass run, I had a ride home. We had a great start - lots of chatting, nothing too fast, no sprained ankles or wet shoes. About 90 minutes in, we saw some snowy patches. And about 20 minutes later we were on a trail that was covered in at least a foot of old, icy, slippery snow. As inexperienced trail runners we left our Yaktrax at REI (meaning I’ve never considered buying them). That left us walking and sliding for about 45 minutes. Seriously, I wanted a sled or lunch tray or garbage can lid or something. This is where the delirious conversations started (you know, when you’re deep into a long workout), the guy behind us started ranking Sydnie’s falls (there were a lot), and we determined that I would need someone to pay me at least $500 to run a second loop or buy me a new computer + iPad.
After the snowy part, we had about 3.5 miles downhill to the finish. There were some slick parts, but it was mostly fun to be flying downhill and smiling the whole way. We also determined that trail running is made up of mostly “nice old guys” and had a lot of fun chatting it up with them on the downhill. I’m pretty sure Sydnie and I were the 2nd and 3rd women to finish (we finished together), but it’s hard to say with no “official” results. Plus there weren’t many women there, nor did we really care. Gerry was waiting for me at the finish for my finish line hug.