There are 2 courses that can be run.
1.) An out-and-back 5k (so run 1.6 miles out, turn around, and run 1.6 miles back). All of paved roads
2.) A 7k (4.4 mile). The first 2/3 are on pavement, with the last 1/3 on trails.
My original plan was to run the 5k only, since I wasn't crazy about doing a race partly in the snow. I didn't have to decide at the start of the race, but I was 75% sure this is what I was going to do. Once again, I ran with my buddy Chris Felix. He was in the same boat as me (probably going with the 5k, but wasn't 100% sure).
So we are getting ready to start the race. Probably about 300+ people or so. Both courses start at the same time, same place. If you do the 5k, then you turn around at the 1.6 mark and run back. If you do the 7k, you hang a right at that turn around, run about 1.5 miles on another road, and then 1.5 mile on the trail.
Chris Felix and I actually ran together on this one. We have done about 7 or 8 runs together, and this was the first time we actually ran next to each other. That lasted about 25 seconds, and then he was gone. At least I got to enjoy his company for 25 seconds, and I will treasure that time forever!
As you can see below, the road wasn't that wide, so it took a good 3/4 mile to spread out.
Coming up on the 1/2 way point of the 5k, I still wasn't sure what I was going to do. I passed Chris, which means he had already made it to the turnaround, and was on his way back. He yelled at "5k" to me, which I figured since he was running in that direction.
So, 100 feet away from the turnaround. What am I going to do? I am going to put on my skirt, and turn around like Christina Felix, or am I gonna man up, do the full 7k. What would Rocky Balboa do?
Sure enough, I man up and decide to run the full 7k. The turnaround point turned out to be a 1/3 of the total race. Next 1/3 was all on paved road, but not an easy road to run on. Lots of ice, so had to be careful. I shoot Felix a text, so he knows that I will be longer. It took me 3 minutes to type (while running) "Im doing trail." My multi-tasking skills are not the greatest.
So after the middle 1/3 of the race, comes time for the final 1/3, all on the trails of the park. There was a pickle to lead the way up the trail
And then the trail run starts, with about a 1/4 mile, all up hill. Absolutely brutal. Had I not been running all week in the snow and inclement weather, I may have had to stop and walk like some people. However, as everyone knows, I am an athletic beast, and never stopped to walk at all. I probably passed about 30 people on the trail, which I have to be honest, felt pretty good.
Orange arrows spraypainted in the snow for directions
Damn slackers freaking walking while I am trying to run. I was polite, but I wanted to yell at them to get the hell out of my way.
So the trail part was tough, but very fun. I was glad I ran outside all week, so I was ready for this. I finished the race in 51 minutes, which I was very happy with. (considering the hills on the trail, I thought it was pretty good). I feel very confident about the 10 mile run tomorrow. Here are a a couple pics taken by the folks who organized the race of the Herculean athlete coming out of the trail
(my friend Jake Goodridge commented on this picture on facebook. He asked if this was the "Stalker 5k" since I look like a creep coming out of the woods. I thought that was pretty funny)
Finish area: They had gatorade and popcorn. I was very happy
Finally, here is a pic of the race number and long sleeve shirt. Strangest shirt I have ever seen. The pic is of the back of the shirt, but there is nothing on the front (just blank of the front.) I find that weird, but I like it.