July 26, 2008

SMU Trail Scamper

The 7'th of 12 races in the 2008 Minnesota Trail Run Series was held this morning in Winona - a planned 4 miler down at St. Mary's University to benefit their cross country teams. It ended up being a 5K because of a land dispute between the university and a private owner, which undoubtedly gave the race director some extra head aches as this all came to light just a week prior to the race.

Got up at 5 am to make the 2.5 hour drive down to Winona in time for the 9 am start. Beautiful morning! Kinda hazy, with the sun coming up like a huge pink ball that gradually gave way to orange, then yellow. SMU is located on a small but very pretty campus - the steep bluffs of south eastern Minnesota are one of my favorite parts of the state, second only to the North Shore of Lake Superior. I was curious to know just how steep these trails were going to be!

Met the usual cast of characters before the race: Wayne, Jim, and John - the 4 of us are attempting to "shoot the moon" and do all 12 races in the series. Adam got there early and put in some double digit miles as a warm up before the 5K. The course turned out to be relatively tame: no steep hills, wide non-technical trails with great footing, great weather. This would be a perfect beginners race for those who are interested in trying trail running!

Hung out for awhile afterwards enjoying the morning while the race staff struggled with getting results together. Jim and Adam both scored some hardware for top 3 times in their age group! Lots of young cross country runners made the younger age groups very competitive - there were a few speed balls out there this morning ;)

Congrats to the student athletes from St. Mary's University who put the whole event together and pulled it off. I'm sure they gained some great experience and a new appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes to put on the races that we all enjoy. Hopefully the land dispute won't disrupt their cross country season!


Wayne said...

Good to see you this morning, Kel. It was a great day, nice location, and I didn't mind having one of the shorter series races on the schedule. :)

keith said...

Sounds like that was a fun one!! I was definitely in no shape to run a 5k after friday's hot hot heat! You're a machine!

Jennythenipper said...


I've been following your blog with interest since my friend and I are training to do Nerstrand this year. We ran a 5k trail run at St. Croix Falls, WI (a new race this year but well organized). We were shocked by how much slower out times were compare to a road 5k!

We are planning on running at Maple lake, and would appreciate any advice about the course. (Trails narrow, technical, any really big hills, etc.?)

By the way for folks trail running in the northern suburbs of St. Paul, Waterworks park in Roseville has an excellent system (Ok maze!) of fairly tough and technical trails.

Carl Gammon said...

Nice job - another race checked off on the series. And the best part is see the "usual cast of characters", so I'll be on the lookout for you at the finish. (Unless I'm fast enough to get to Cramer Rd. before your 8:00 AM start.)

Carl Gammon said...

Finish of Superior/Moose Mountain that is...