Little Runner and I arrived at the race in good time to visit with a few folks while we registered out in the parking lot. LR said “Sure” when I asked if I should sign her up for the kid’s race, yet in the short walk from there to the race start, she changed her mind to “Nah, maybe not”. Then a couple of her friends talked her back into it, and off she flew with the other munchkins when their race started. Liesbeth from our 10k group led the kids through their 1 km course. She had to work hard to stay in front of them!
This race starts up on a plateau which leads to a big steep descent into the river valley below. At the beginning, the course meandered close to the edge of cliffs much more than usual, so there was no gazing at scenery for me – I kept my eyes on the course.
There was still some snow on the ground from earlier in the week, but I wasn’t sure how icy the paths on the trail would be. I thought there would be more mud than ice, so decided to leave the Yaktrax off and just run in trail shoes. It turns out this was one of those races where one just needs spikes.
There was snow and slush filling the single track in some parts, and there was mud of various consistencies, from sticky to sloppy in a lot of places. My Yax would have filled up with mud, but my trail shoes without them slipped somewhat in the snow. I didn’t fall, but I had to be more careful than usual.
Towards the end my left ankle tried to give out on me like it’s done late in races when I get tired. I didn’t roll all the way with it this time. Thank goodness, because I was running along the edge of a steep ridge and a fall overboard would not have been pleasant. I also had a rabbit within sight, pulling me towards the finish. I didn’t catch her, but she was very motivating.
I think I ran (rather than hiked) much more of this course than I usually do. The endurance training I did this summer seems to still be helping me feel better during and after runs. Plus, when you’ve run up a mountain, there is just no excuse for whining in an inner-city 8k.
After high fives with my rabbit and Dawn at the finish line, we headed in for soup and dessert. Usually for dessert I bring a pan of brownies or something like that, but this time I brought a couple of big chocolate Penguins my mom gave me at Thanksgiving. It was fun offering those on the dessert table!
I didn’t linger much after lunch – we’d all be back at the hall again that evening for the Roadrunners annual meeting, and I had a few things to do in between.