|Beautiful blue sky and railroad on the Little Blue Trace|
|Frozen grass after a hard frost...steam coming off the water|
This is the most informal race I've ever done. There was a bib - from a different race - there was a shirt - but not for the race, for the running club that put it on - it has a turtle on it though, so I really liked it even though it is a men's medium and a little too big. But there was no start line or timing. There was literally a sign that said "Start/Finish". You wrote your name down if you wanted to be counted as starting at 7:00 and then they counted down from 3 to Go and off you went. If you wanted to start early - you could...you just had to leave a note for them with your start time. Yes, this was an honor system race.
|Sun rising over a foot bridge|
I had decided that since it was flat I would run it a little harder and wouldn't really do my run/walk pace even though it was technically a training run. I wasn't going to go all out by any means, but I would run a little harder than I would a training run. The first two miles I went out a little too fast, but I really wanted to stay with at least a few people, it was pitch black on the trail. But by about mile 3 or so it was starting to lighten up and I found myself running with a group of 3 other people. It was barely daylight and this guy said "Wow look at all those deer over there"....now I can't see very well, but I was thinking "deer - where...isn't that water" but I didn't see anything. As we got a little closer, he said "no wait, maybe that's just some turkeys"...and I look again, and I still don't see anything. Finally we get right up on the area, and he said.. "oh I guess that's just a bunch of stumps in the water". Lol, we all had a good laugh and kept running.
|One of the self serve aid stations|
I stuck with them a for a little bit longer and then pushed ahead. In a race this size, this is always dangerous. I didn't want to be embarrassed and have them pass me back. I stayed a short ways ahead of them until the turnaround, and then one of the men broke from the pack (same one who saw the deer) and he passed me right at the turn around. I then followed him back to the road - where we took a wrong turn and added in some extra mileage...this guy really didn't know what he was doing lol. Anyway, I stayed in front of the other girl and guy for most of the rest of the race, but barely. A few times I would look behind me and they had gotten very close. And at the turnaround I realized it was pretty much them and then one more guy behind me....so I was only 4 places from last place (at least for the people who started at 7). This actually pushed me to keep going, as my pace was starting to fade. Finally we reached about half mile to go and one guy in the group breezed right by me...crap I thought and turned around to look behind me. I couldn't see the girl, so I knew she was a ways away, but couldn't be too far behind. I pushed it though, because I didn't want to be last...or probably next to last. I ended up passing another girl in that last half mile - I have no idea where she came from. She either went out way to fast and totally crashed at the end or she started early and was just finishing but I couldn't remember seeing her the entire race.
|Not my favorite race picture...|
Anyway I crossed the "finish" in about 2:35...still no results published so I have no idea where I finished, but I definitely wasn't last :) There were a couple people there that said good job and that was about it. They had a table with a few snacks and some instant coffee - ugh...and you got to pick out a race souvenir - different varieties of solar dancing things. I picked a scarecrow, of course...what else.
|The Solar Dancing Scarecrow|
I found Jim who "thought he might have won the race"...but wasn't sure and still doesn't know. It was an interesting experience but still fun. It was a beautiful morning and I was out running among the gorgeous fall colors.
|Me & Jim post race|
Have you ever done a race this small??? My first for sure.
And just for kicks....a Fall picture of Jack :)
|Jack in the back yard, not at the race :)|