Thursday, December 16, 2004

The HUFF Race Report—December 16, 2004

Had a fun time today, but I will allow that others might not agree. But 650 other people did agree.I ran a completely unique race today.

It was a 10.8 mile "trail race" in a state park about 2 hours from here. Whereas most races are laid out on streets and roads (hard surface) this race was a trail run and this was truthful advertising. If you picture a typical trail in a state park, that's what we ran on. For two hours. Way cool and a lot of fun.

It was totally different from anything else I had ever done in running. You had to pick your way along all the was more like a steeple chase than a regular run. Avoiding ruts, roots, roughness. Up and down ravines. It was 33 degrees at the 8:20am start time (sun rise here at 8:01 this morning!!) and we also negotiated snow (from earlier in the week), ice, creek crossings, mud. Lots and lots of turns and you always had to concentrate on what was immediately ahead of you so you wouldn't fall down or turn an ankle or step in an icy-water hole. As I said, not everybody would call this fun.But it really was a hoot.

It was actually part of a major 50 kilometer championship ...those folks ran THREE 10.8 mile laps around this reservoir. About 450 people did that. About 180 of us mere mortals just ran one lap. But there were a lot of folks out on the trails and the atmosphere was really fun.

I got the course done in just under 2 hours (1:59:01, to be exact). The last 1.5 miles was tough..not painful, but my legs were finished and there were still lots of roots to avoid. The surface takes more out of you than an even paved surface. But no injuries or pain, which is good and I'd sign up again in a heartbeat...will put it on the calendar for next year.

So, as one of the byproducts of my new job, I now have time to train and thus run again. And I'm really enjoying it.

PS (and this is really boring) The organizers had set up with the local YMCA to let out-of-town runners take a shower before heading home. I took advantage of that. Well....the race was in Huntington Indiana, which won't mean anything to you until I mention that it is Dan Quayle's home town. And I think Dan's grandfather must have built the Y there, as it is still in it's original form....the oldest locker room/shower set up I've seen...makes the OLD Auburn High School (where M, K went, I went mostly and Anne only experienced as a youthful and fresh-faced freshman) look downright pristine. Hey, I got cleaned up and got going, with a tip o' the hat to Dan on my way out.....