I had a great time! I've been looking forward to this race to see the difference in a trail race vs a road race. I knew there was a more casual attitude, and that was part of the attraction.
I woke up early....Haight was volunteering and they told him to be there by 6am! The race started at 8:15. We heard parking is an issue, so we decided to get there a bit after 6 so we wouldnt have to walk a mile to the car after the race.
We arrived and were sent to lot A/B--right at the finish line! Yay!! Haight left to help and I relaxed in the car and watched the setup. It was so early, the portapotties were still on the flatbed!
I snuggled into my jeep, keeping warm and listening to music (it was drizzling out) until I saw Todd walk by--he was volunteering too. I jumped out of the car and led the lost soul to the volunteer sign-in. He was assigned to water stop 2/11, which is where this pic was taken.
I finally met up with the other Alpine gals I was running with and we headed over to the start. I had my gps watch on, my trail shoes on (Montrail) and carried my beloved water bottle filled with half Gatorade/half water. I had two bean packets ready to go in my pockets. This chick was prepared!
We took off and shuffled thru the first few miles getting our legs warmed up. Of the four gals I was with, one took off ahead of us pretty early, which we expected. Three of us stuck together until the last few miles. We were in pace with a couple behind us and we all took bets on when the lead male runner would pass us by. I chose mile 4, but it turned out to be 4.5, so I didnt win.
The path was nice and wet--I like when it drizzles during a race, it keeps me cool, keeps my legs going longer.....and I love when I get dirty---the old tomboy in me! When one of us would fall behind, we'd yell out that we're sharing sex stories and that friend would rush up! (Then we had to come up with something--come run with us to hear the stories!!)
I noticed the mile markers were off at mile 4--the curse of Race Directors, runners with GPS watches! But it evened out by mile 10-11. Luckily my watch automatically marks off the miles and my time, so I don't depend on the signs.
I had one pack of beans at mile 5--forced myself to eat them all,even tho I wasnt enjoying it. I regretted that as my stomach wasnt happy with this decision. One of the gals I was running with needed a potty, I told her the woods are your bathroom in a trail race--she held off!
My shoes untied TWICE--I hate when that happens. So I'm sure to buy lacelocks--I already have them on my road shoes.
There was lots of puddles on the trail, lots of horse crap and hardly anyone out there but the runners. That was nice as I run on this trail regularly and the mountain bikers come by pretty fast--I think the rain held them off. Also, IMWisconsin is this Sunday, so many of them that are usually out there were resting up.
I started feeling tired around mile 10 and just followed the shoes of my girlfriend in front of me. I repeated one of my mantras, "John Jacob Jingle Hyman Schmidt...." from my old camp days. It kept my mind off my tired legs.
The mile 9ish water stop offered beer!! Though I've never acquired a taste for it (yeah I was a nerd in college) my girlfriend in my age group decided to have a cup--I knew then I was going to beat her!
At mile 11, I saw Todd at the water stop. He saw me coming and had two Gatorade cups ready to go into my water bottle. Thanks Todd!! I felt reenergized and kicked it in. My last two miles were my fastest. I kept an eye on the time the whole way so I knew I was going to make it before the 2.5 hr cutoff. I made it by a minute! YAYYY!
And the best part of the race???? The party afterwards at Flatlanders. What a great job they do there. We were given two drink tkts and a raffle tkt when we arrived. Flatlanders and Runners Edge (the store that sponsors the race) supplied the raffle prizes--which were outstanding! I didn't win anything but I was very impressed with the giveaways. There was free food there too---all for a $40 registration fee. Not bad! I can't imagine they make any money from this race--all the more reason to respect this store (there's actually two of them, one in Wilmette, one in Libertyville). I will be sure to shop there more often.
One of the guys in my Half Marathon training group says he wants to do this race next year--just a little pressure for him by putting it on my blog (hi Mike!) :)
I definitely recommend this race, and I look forward to more trail races in my future.