Run With The Foxes

Last Saturday I ran the Run With The Foxes Trail Half Marathon, well, not exactly. I was not at all familiar with the course and about a mile from the finish I missed a poorly marked turn off of the trail. I wasn’t even looking really, just following the runner ahead of me, not blaming her at all. We were on a well-worn trail, but the race course abruptly turned off the trail and was not well-marked at all. By the time we realized our mistake it was way too late to recover from the error. Up to that point I was on pace to run about a 1:51 or so which for me is pretty good for a trail half. After adding on an extra 3 miles (at least 3 maybe more) I wound up finishing in about 2:24. I haven’t seen any official results posted, but I know I didn’t finish in last place. The 2nd time I came by the missed turn they had blocked the trail and put up extra flags. The first moment I realized I had screwed up I was pretty mad because it would have been a trail half PR for me. By the time I reached the finish area I was way too tired to be upset. I was just really happy there was still food left to eat. I had only consumed one little hammer gel during the race so I was starving when I finished.

After walking down this hill for packet pickup we had to walk back up to get to the start.

Other than the missed turn this was an awesome event. The course was not nearly as muddy as I had feared it would be. There were several little creeks that were high enough to get my feet wet, but the cool water felt pretty good. I started this race with the intention of setting a trail half PR. I started at a pace about the same as I would for a trail 15k. It was easy to do because the start was on a steep down hill paved road. With the big gravity assist I was probably under a 6 minute per mile pace when I hit the bottom. Of course that pace didn’t last long, but I did push pretty hard for the first 10 or 11 miles before I started to fade just a little.

At around mile 8 or so I tripped on a root. I was flying down hill at the time and consider myself lucky to come out of it with no broken bones. My hands and forearms absorbed most of the blow. I slid several feet along the trail and somehow got flipped around and landed up on my feet turned 180 degrees on the trail. It was quite a thrill. No one saw it, but runners in front and behind heard it. I’m pretty sure that when I landed upright on my feet I let out a loud yell! The runner ahead stopped to make sure I was ok. No blood, nothing feels broken, not even any torn clothing. Just some dirt ground into my hands and arms. The adrenaline rush gave me a little boost for the next few miles. Now a couple of days later arms are bruised just a little and my elbow and shoulder are a little sore but nothing to complain about. I try not to think of what might have happened if I had slammed into a tree or got my hand caught under a root. Yikes!

After the miserable long training run I had the previous Saturday I considered this a good confidence builder going into the marathon on May 30th. After the race I headed home and started packing for my move. I then loaded up the car with as much as I could and made my first trip to my new abode. Still have a some more furniture and a few small items to move but so far I think the new place will work out just fine.

3 responses to “Run With The Foxes

  1. That’s a fun race, but notoriously undermarked. I’ve taken several wrong turns, but for some reason, always considered it a exhilarating morning anyway.

    • There’s just something about being out in the woods on a nice morning and supporting a worthy cause. Setting PR’s, winning races, etc… all that stuff just isn’t as important out on the trails. Right at this moment deep in my core I long to just throw on some trail shoes, tell my boss to… have a nice day, and go run through the woods.

  2. 1:51 is a mighty quick pace on that course! Going that fast though, means you can have an equally quick fall & usually it’s not on the best part of the trail — good to hear you survived.

    The course at DWD, down the road from your event, also had problems with course markings. It’s hard enough to keep concentration on an unfamiliar course.

    Good Luck at your marathon!

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