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!
1 day ago