After a pretty miserable winter here in the Northeast,I was glad to be starting my running season.. This will be my first running race of the 2014 season, and this starts off a pretty busy month of April, with 4 more races scheduled in the coming weekends. This run is through a nature preserve in the township of Tenafly along 9W. Its a pretty nice 4000 acre woodland area managed by the Tenafly Nature Center that is a popular spot especially in the summer months.
Im not in the best form this early in the season, no excuses, just not it tip top shape. So lets see how race one goes.. If I don’t do well no worries, race #2 is tomorrow , a 10K.
Trail Runs are fun.
Trail runs are interesting in that your a little closer to nature and there’s less pounding and running seems more comfortable and natural. Plus I don’t often do them and it’s a nice change of pace and scenery from the typical road race. This is the 4th Annual Lost Brook trail run, its a pretty small race , this year the race seemed smaller than last time, but everyone there was ready for some fun..
Last time I did this trail run..it rained,and this year muddy! arggh!
Joining me for this race is my brother Jose, and this will be the second time me and my brother competed in this trail run. The last time we did this race in 2012 it was a miserable rainy morning. From what I recall it was a rainy mess last time, and even though we had a good time, the rain slicked muddy trail provided less than ideal running conditions, plenty of sprains by competitors from slipping on rocks or mud kept the medics busy post race. This year it’s not raining at the start but the trail is likely to be pretty wet and muddy from yesterday’s overnight rain.
My goals.. Race morning
My goal this year is to finish before my brother, but it’s unlikely , he’s a pretty strong runner relative to me,. Last time we raced here he beat me by 2:32 , so my secondary goal is to beat my 45:39 time from the last time I did this course, that goal I feel is pretty achievable.
The Trail run….
As 9:00 a approached, we assembled at the start of the wood-chip trail and waited for race officials to start the 5 mile run. There’s also a 10-mile run that started at the same time, they do two loops of the same course. So feeling the cool wet wood-chip beneath my feet, I had a few last encouraging words with my brother and off we sent..
As usual my brother took off running like a sub-7 minute first mile, I followed the pack down the wood chip trail , till the bottom where the mud run , began, then it was navigating a trailed ladder climb over rocks and such before the first let turn. Then it was through the woods, the dry cool weather made the run comfortable but the slippery muddy path, also made it a bit more treacherous. One this about this run, is your ankle will bend and the many small rocks, slippery surface and other hazards definitely make it challenging.
I was holding on till the first mile marker, but I felt myself tiring, and the miles in this particular trail run are a bit slower than on the road, but nonetheless, I plodded away. After about 2 miles I could feel myself fading, and tried to hang on.. I just seemed to loose energy with each passing mile..
Then at about mile 3 came one of three slips and falls, nothing major, just slipped when I didn’t clear a rock and fell, it would happen two more times on this course. Then a few minutes later I kind of got lost, I mean you’re in the woods and the pink ribbons that occasionally marked the course were nowhere to be found, so I jogged a little until I caught site of one of the ribbons and then proceeded.
After mile four some slower runners caught up and we ran together till the end.. I tried to outsprint one of them but I just didn’t have the legs… . Three slips and falls and one shoe-lace tieing later I was done. My brother finished a few minutes earlier, and recounted similar stories of his shoes coming off and sticking in the mud…
When I finished I knew my time was poor, off 3 minutes from the last time, both me and my brother were slower , how sad.. ohh well there’s always next year.
Trail runs are really a different form of running, try one if you have never done it.
I have a video I’m editing of this run some of the stills are shown here , I’ll post it after I get done editing it.