Huntington State Park Trail Race, May 2013.
One week before the race… the weather looked promising. 60-70 degree F and partly sunny, just after a few days of rain, all to make the trails a little muddy for your running pleasure. As I was watching the weather updates almost at hourly increments, the weather was holding out pretty well – constant. Up until it finally showed a change the Thursday leading up to the weekend; the weather-people may have finished their coffee and decided, egh, wait… its actually going to be in the 40’s, windy, and pouring … lets update weather.com. And so all other weather stations followed suit.
The Friday before the race was beautiful. 50 degree weather, drizzle and some periods of heavy rain, not windy. Perfect for a run. We have marked the course, trails were wet, some mud…turned out to be a great day for marking trails. After all the trails were marked, I felt like running out there and running some more but knew had some more logistical prepping to do before the race.
40 F degree weather, windy and raining. Not what I anticipated. Where was the 60-70 partly sunny weather so runners can hang out after the race and enjoy the camaraderie of all the runners – which is one of the reasons trail races are so enjoyed. The water and further signage was placed at anticipated sections throughout the course. The race volunteers were early and ready to conquer any task needed to help streamline the event: registration/direct and cheer on runners. The tent was set up and almost blew over; the rain and wind did not help with the registration paperwork.
The runners started trickling in… ready for the anticipated run. All their hard training to run this race no matter what weather. 80-90% of preregistered runners were present as well as many race day registering runners. We were surprised to see how many did register on race day considering the weather, but remembered to myself…. these people have trail running blood within them and many times expect the unexpected out on the trail.
The race started… they were off. Approximately 1 hour later racers started to return to the finish-line. It was then that I knew everyone had a great time, was ‘perfect’ weather to run. I seen scrapes, abrasions, bruises on many runners due to the running conditions…and after seeing them cross the finish line, a smile, feeling of accomplishment, felling that you have conquered something that many runners do not have to deal with when they run any course… not only ruts, roots, rocks, hills, climbs…. but mud and more mud, some trails that turned into streams, many slick climbs that would not have otherwise been there if there was not so much rain. Someone even stated this race was more challenging that a Spartan!!! On facebook there was many comments on how much it was enjoyed and can not wait to run the next.
It was great seeing these comments. Made it all worth while. Even though I would have liked to see everyone stick around after the race so we can enjoy each others company… you actually did… you all were together on the trail as a group; enjoying the trail and one another. Many may not have discussed your journey and battle injuries/strategies immediately afterward, as what would typically happen on a warmer and dryer day, but you have earned bragging rights and should be proud of your efforts and accomplishments.
Until the next race…..
see you on the trail !!!