This past weekend I ran in my first trail race. I wasn't planning to run and really wasn't prepared, which was probably a good thing. It was definitely an interesting experience. I had gone down to Myrtle Beach to run with the Black Dog Running Co. at their weekly social run and someone mentioned this "Burro Loco" 5K that weekend. I saw it was a trail race but didn't really think it would be a big deal, so I signed up. Little did I know what I had gotten myself into. Not one to be able to "race for fun" I realized very quickly how different trail racing is from road racing. For one thing, you don't go as fast. I had warmed up on the course about a half mile that morning and wished later on I had seen the entire thing. There were about 125 racers that morning and as we lined up, I still had no clue what was getting ready to happen...Off we took through the woods and after the first half mile I realized that I had better pay attention to the ground or I was going to fall flat on my face. The tire tracks I had been following suddenly disappeared. Umm...what now, I thought? The grass was as high as my knees and there were dips in the trail, too. My shoes were soaking wet and I could feel the grass and other weeds tearing at my legs. Through the first mile I was the lead woman. I figured I would be passed pretty soon but was giving it my all. Not once did I ever consider the creatures that were lurking in those woods. haha! Yea, I guess there probably were some snakes around. I was too busy trying not to fall and twist my ankle and then for the first time ever in a race my shoelaces came untied. I always double knot and have never had a problem but the high grass worked them loose. I was going to just ignore it but figured my shoe would come off sooner or later so I begrudgingly stopped to tie it. Would you believe I had to stop and tie the same shoe two more times and the other one time!! That cost me about 15 seconds! I crossed the finish line with one of them untied but I was not going to stop anymore! And then there was the long jump I took. I came up on this creek thing and with only a split second to decide went soaring across. Not sure how I made it but, I did-then there was a second one. Good grief...not wanting to chance it, I ran to the outside and a shorter jump. I had already been passed by two women, but I did end up finishing strong as the third woman overall. My time was 25:04. And then there was the issue with my shoes. I had my Brooks Green Silence on, not a smart choice for a trail race, but all I had other than my brand new Kinvara 3's. Thanks to the mud runner who told me how to care for my shoes. They are as good as new...well, I can tell they've been through something other than road work but still usable.
So, I am not sold on this trail racing stuff...trail running for training, yes...but I am a long distance runner and do not want to injure myself. If I couldn't run my marathons because of some trail race, well...let's just say, I'd be pretty upset! Kudos to all you mud runners and trail racers though! Next time, if there is a next time, I will see the entire course before I decide to run...
I did meet some new friends! Tammy, Daniel, and Tina-I will be in touch!!
Burro Loco 5K