Monday, October 03, 2011

Holly Hill Farms Discover the Woods 5k

I've never done a trail race before. My son is the XC runner and this is really his sort of thing. But I have always wanted to try one. Now, living in New England I can honestly say there are certain things to be expected: there are hills, there is dirt and there are rocks. After several days of rain, that dirt turns to mud.

Most trail racers revel in these realities. Me, I now see the appeal but I"m not sure if it's my thing.

Sunday was overcast and fall like. After all the rain, I knew it was going to get muddy so I packed a change of clothes knowing that I would need a shower and met up with my sister and niece to go to the race. This was on a community farm in Cohasset that has over 130 acres of woods. Four years ago they started this race to let the local community become aware and explore the woods. There were maybe 75 or so people that turned out, several had done this race before. My sister and I started in the back of the pack and my niece ran with the bulk of the pack. We rounded the first bend and it was pure, deep mud. It was deep enough that the one passable spot required carefully balancing yourself in a narrow one foot after another passage.

We rounded that first veggie patch and circled past the start line and into the fields to the woods. There were lots of rocks and roots. Not surprising, after all, it was a discover the woods trail race. We ran the better part of the first mile, but after slipping a bit in some mud, both of us quickly came to the conclusion we were walking this race. It wasn't worth hurting ourselves, so we'd enjoy the surroundings and push when we could other wise, we wouldn't sweat it.

About a mile and a quarter in, we heard someone huffing and puffing behind us. Both of us were surprised as we thought we were the last, but another woman ran past. Then, crossing a bridge over some water, she started walking because she didn't want to hurt herself either. We caught up to her quickly and the three of us walked the last half of the race together. All of us were glad we didn't wear our "good" running shoes. We joked that we were surprised they hadn't sent out a search party for us.

Just as we were coming up on the 3 mile point, I saw my niece jogging at us and we started laughing. She had tried to explain to the race organizers that we were fine, but they were concerned someone might be hurt. We crossed the finish with a lot of laughter at the 55:59 mark.

Yes I was covered in mud and yes there was definitely dirt in the skirt; however, it was a good run. I did figure out I'm not really warrior dash material - no matter how much fun it looks. I haven't caught the trail bug... yet, but it was certainly a good time.

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