Hey oooo! Now let's get to this race recap. Beware: there are a lot of photos. Click here for my random thoughts mid race.
It was an early race morning. The manfriend and I woke up at my parents' house at 5:30 am to get on the rode shortly after 6. My mom came with us so we all loaded up and headed off for the 2 hr drive.
I fueled with cereal and a banana at 6 am and then a half almond butter/jelly sandwich an hour before the race.
Sunday's race weather was PERFECT! High 30s - mid 40s with no rain. I chose capris, a light tech t and my long sleeve Portland Marathon shirt, plus cheap gloves and a headband. Don't I look dorky?
I picked up my bib, stopped by the bathrooms and then gathered to get instructions at the "start line" (there wasn't one). One of the racers sang the national anthem and the crowd sang along.
At 9:10 am we were off. The first mile or so, we were sent right up a rocky road to warm up, which was kind of fun and then we turned back around, headed back to the start and headed out on the loop around Hagg Lake.
This is what sticky, slippery mud looks like.
I was quickly introduced to the Hagg mud before even hitting mile 2 when my foot slipped and my body twisted almost all the way around. I was about 90% sure I was going down, but somehow stayed upright.
The terrain along the course was fairly rolling and gradual with a few of these scary as hell, muddy downhills mixed in. At this point, the manfriend, my mom and other spectators were perched on the side of the hill just waiting for someone to come careening down on their rear. That someone was NOT me. :)
Around mile 6.5 the path took us out to the road along the lake where my pace quickly went up to an 8 min mile, which I was surprised to see after several 11 min miles.
So, if I could describe the race in thirds, I'd say the first third was fun and exciting (I kept saying "I love trail running!" in my head), the second third was me thinking about how sore my butt was and the third was a total swamp fest.
There were two aid stations out on the course. I sped right past the first one since I was carrying my water bottle with nuun and Shot Bloks + a larabar in the pouch.
At the second aid station (around mile 10), I grabbed a handful of trail mix and Fritos and those things seriously never tasted so good. Not that I've had any since probably college, but still. The salt was just what I needed.
Throughout the race, I felt pretty steady so I think I fueled well. I drank every mile or so and ate approx. every 2 miles, even if it was just a Shot Blok.
At mile 11.5, I stepped into a huge puddle and my right foot went from completely dry inside my Montrails to disgustingly wet. For the next 3.5 miles I just felt the squish of mud between my toes at every step. Ugh.
The last mile or so was like running through a swamp. At times I had so much mud on each foot that I was probably carrying a good 5-10 lbs of just mud with me!
And finally, I rounded the last bit of trail to the finish line at 14.75 miles on my Garmin. Happy, strong, tired, finished.
After posing for the final mud pic, I promptly walked right into the lake to rinse off the caked mud from my lower legs.
I devoured 1.5 grilled cheese sandwiches (fake cheese, white bread and all), chicken noodle soup, a choc chip cookie, trail mix and probably a few other things. Running makes me hungry.
Finish time: 2:37:45
Place/age group: 6th
Overall place: 93, 21st female
Miles (per Garmin): 14.75
Avg pace: 10:10
Cost of race: $56?
Race swag: women's Mountain Hardwear tech t-shirt and trail socks
Would I do this race again? Heck yes! Would I do the 50K? Nah, once around the lake was fun, but I'm not sure I'd want to push my luck.
Local runners looking for a trail race for next year, add Hagg Lake to your calendar, but be sure to sign up as soon as it opens. I think it sold out in a matter of days.
Random: Before the race, a local female runner in her late 50s was talking to someone about how she felt great after Saturday's 50K and that she wasn't even sore. She was one of the cra cra craaaazy 18 runners running both the 50K and 25K on back to back days. I am not that hardcore.
Thanks again to mom and the manfriend for being my fabulous cheering section and photographers (not to mention waking up at 5:30 am on a Sunday)!