I declare 2013 the year of no road-marathons and the beginning of a trail love-affair. Ex2 didn’t have to do much to woo us the first time around, and when I saw the Blue Crab Bolt series open up, the group-email was sent out quickly:
“In for round 2, 10K style?”
Four of us trekked up to the Schaeffer farm trail nice and early on Saturday morning, greeted by wide open fields, a cloudy sky and a light mist. The high for the day hovered right around 80*, but the early hour treated us to a cool ~70*.
We’ll file this under: trail race-day perfection.
For Race #2 (of 3) in the series, we were led around a mountain bike course. It took us through cornfields, across narrow foot-bridges and into a few streams, along “tons of semi-technical terrain”. None of us approached this race quite as cautiously as the 10-miler – it was technically at 10.2K, meaning we “only” had 6.3 miles to survive.
No big deal…
Photo credit: SwimBikeRun photography.
There was no easing in, no slow-and-steady pace and no reservations. Mind over matter and ego over logic took us right to the front of the field. The guys were out of sight within the first mile (adios, dudes!), while Kate and I held ourselves together.
By the aid station at Mile 3.x I was consoled by the “halfway there” reasoning; by the time I unknowingly missed the “Mile 4” sign I thought I couldn’t possibly keep up this pace with these hills and a heavy, wet right shoe (skill I do not have: stream-crossing, gracefully). When I finally saw “Mile 5” the feeling of relief was so sweet I took a moment to walk and let it sink in.
With .3 miles to go a fellow racer passed me and said “Finish strong!”.
Blue Crab Bolt 10.2K – 55:37
AG (25-29): 2 / 15
Overall: 36 / 161
Our group represented quite well – snatching top 5 spots in both F & M 25-29.
Food swag spread: watermelon, M&Ms, trail mix, donut holes, breakfast burritos, pretzels, grapes, fruit snacks, granola bars, water, soda & Gatorade. Enough to keep us running for more…
We’ll be back, EX2! Keep up the challenging-race-planning work.
If you’re local to MD/DC/VA, these are well worth the money. It’s great to race in such a small pack, to escape the city and seemingly find yourself in the middle of nowhere with some great like-minded people.
Next up: EX2’s Off-Road Half Marathon. We’ve got some training to do…