Yesterday when the rest of the team took the day off Anneliese, Patrick, and I head down to Keene for The 7th Annual Great ADK Trail Run. It was the perfect day for a running race, sunny, but not terribly hot. (well not at the start anyway!) Because the race is run on the AT trail it has be carried out in a very nontraditional way. They bus racers in with two different shuttle starts. 8 am and 9 am. Once at the trail head we all sign in and are assigned a start number…which may be permanently markered on my arm! They then start one racer at a time at one minute intervals until everyone is out on course. Yes, you’re right. This is infact a time trial, 11.5 mile trail run. There might not be another race out there quite like this!
With the wet spring we’ve had, and more rain the night before, the course was wet, slippery, muddy…did I mention wet?
The course was technical, the race was tactical. And I spent a good portion of the race laughing. There were no mile markers, the occasional course marker, I was going into this race completely blind…I was a little nervous. What else could I do? So I laughed. I ran the first 4 miles pretty conservatively. I didn’t feel great, so I used the first section of the race to warm up. My calves were tight and I felt super awkward sliding and slipping over roots and rocks. I hit a few trees, did a few face plants. There was alot of mud and plenty of puddles, who couldn’t be happy? At one point the trail turned into a waist deep puddle, at mile 7 the course turned into a bog. At which point it was all I could do to keep my shoes on!
As the race went on I felt better. I could move more fluidly, there were even moments I felt agile and quick! After lots of uphill the course turned down, at this point my legs were near jello and it was all I could do to keep my legs under me. When the road finally became flat again my legs were toasted and it was all I could do to keep them moving forward. Brutal.
The finish was located conveniently next to a river and one by one the tired muddy finishers stumbled down to the water and sat in the water listlessly, soaking up the sun.
After the race there were the essential three B’s…barbeque, beer, and a band. It was the perfect way to recover after one heck of a run. I remember walking around a beer in one hand and a cup cake in the other hand thinking…This is the life! The results came out and it turned out, running completely separate races, Anneliese and I finished 1 second apart. That’s right after two hours of racing I lost and she won by one second. Pretty cool stuff. We both walked away with some awesome prizes! Who has two thumbs and is the proud new owner of a really sweet Patagonia wind breaker? This girl!
It was a wonderful little saturday! It was a race took being gutsy and having a good sense of humor. It was a beautiful day, and I got to spend it with some really great people! The event was smooth and well organized, and the locals were welcoming and supportive. The event organizers were really stoked to have such strong fields in both the mens and women’s races and I’d like to think we put on a good show!
If you’d like to check out some results you can find them. at this little website!
If I get my hands on any pictures, I know they are out there somewhere, I will put them up.