April 19, 2008

Trail Mix Race Report

Well, today was the day I've been looking forward to for months - the MN trail race series opener with the Trail Mix 25K at Hyland Lake (which turned out to be a little less than 25K). Because of the snow and ice still on the ski hill, that part of the trail was eliminated from the course. Race Director OC mentioned that he may have us run the course backwards next year so that we can run up the ski hill to make up for it :) OC also dedicated this year's race to his wife who passed away in February - our race shirts have her name printed on the sleeve. A nice touch, I thought.

As we were lining up at the start, it was fun to catch up with Keith, Wayne, Kate, Bryan, and a few others (sorry who I'm missing)! We were all discussing our "what to wear" strategies - I had to apologize for my pasty white legs, but I was in good company ;) I was a little overdressed, but was able to shed an extra shirt after a few miles and felt fine. No rain during the race, and it actually turned out to be excellent weather for running.

My first loop felt pretty good! Considering the rain overnight and the overcast skies this morning, I thought the course was actually in decent shape. Yes, there were many muddy spots, but they were fairly short and most of the trail was pretty firm. (What a difference a week makes for the folks who ran in a foot of snow at Chippewa last Saturday)! As I was running toward the Hill trail, I passed Brook and Karen G as they were returning on the Lake trail toward the start/finish area to complete their first loop of the 50K. I never did see Steve or Carl.

With my horrible winter training, my lack of miles - especially trail miles - caught up to me a little bit on the second loop. Starting about mile 9, the muscles in my feet started cramping. My longest runs this year have only been 10 milers, and they've been on pavement or the treadmill. I guess the intrinsic muscles in my feet were voicing their displeasure, but it was actually kind of funny running with my toes stuck together. I ended up doing a little more walking on the uphills the second time around. One of my favorite things on both loops of the race was seeing a pair of loons on Hyland Lake, which must have just iced out (it was still mostly iced over when I ran there Monday). Wayne was there to cheer me through the finish line, and Kate wasn't far behind.

I'd hoped to stick around to visit more and hopefully catch the 50K runners coming in, but I was just too cold. Couldn't get warm even after adding layers of clothes and sitting in the car with the heater going, so I ended up just coming home. I look forward to hearing how everyone else fared, especially those who ran the Chippewa epic just last week!

Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with the race! Everyone was very friendly and helpful - I tried to remember to thank them for supporting us when I went through the aid stations.

See the results here.

Runnin' in the Ruff 10K is 2 weeks away in Milaca...

8 comments:

Runnin-from-the-Law said...

Sounds like a great day! I believe this is the race another runner from a site I post on - kickrunners - was running today. The trail running thing sounds so interesting!

Wayne said...

Congrats, Kel! Well, the series has begun. A lot of great events with some training mixed in, and 'Superior in Sept' here we come! We should have all the kinks worked out by then. :)

SteveQ said...

Sorry I missed you - I was up front! See you in Milaca.

aharmer said...

Great run Kel, now the season begins! I was looking for you but arrived too late, see you at one of the upcoming events.

Carl Gammon said...

Nice job, Kel. I looked for you out there, but I guess we never crossed paths. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the trail, mud and all. Now that we into nicer weather, you can get off the treadmill and out in the woods where it's more fun.

Don said...

Good job Kel. Sounds like a lot of us bloggers were there - and I didn't recognize a single one! :-)

Superior in September sounds WONDERFUL! I've done the Moose Mountain a couple of times and just can't get enough of that wonderful forest adventure.

Wayne said...

I forgot to mention that your trail mix course map was very helpful. This is the first year I had a clue about the course layout, and where I was on it - Thanks!
And woohoo for the Vibram FiveFingers. Maybe some day we can 'be like Keith' and actually run races in these things! :)

keith said...

Nice job, Kel! Looking forward to Milaca! That will be a mud-bath too, I hope.