Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dirty Love 10K Race Report

Over the last year or so I have really fallen in love with trail running. There are a number of beautiful places in Lake County to take advantage of running. Not only do we have Lake Erie in our backyard but we also have many trails such as Chapin Forest, Girdled Rd, Penitentiary Glenn, The Holden Arboretum and North Chagrin Reservation to name a handful.

When I learned that there was a trail 10k at North Chagrin this month I thought it would be a fun way to start off the 2013 racing season. My hubby agreed so we decided to sign up and see how it went. It was a great decision because we had an absolute blast at this race!

The race was on Sunday, February 10 at 9am, which was nice because we did not have to get up ridiculously early. We woke up around 7, had a nice breakfast, got dressed and left around 8:00 for the race. We arrived at the start around 8:20. There was a nice crowd of runners including some folks we knew from Cleveland Tri Club and other friends. We picked up our bibs and race schwag and headed to the car to get ready. After a brief warmup and a trip or two to the restroom, we lined up.

The race was to be mostly on single track trail with some miles on the bridle trail as well. With the recent snowfall and temperatures in the low 20s the hubby and I both decided to wear or yaktrax to help with traction. That was a good decision as they really helped on some of the icy up and downhills.

The start of the race went through a field of snow coming to a creek crossing. I was a little bit of a sissy with the cold and snow and manuevered my way around the creek versus going right through it like my hubby. This cost me a minute or two early on in the race. After the creek we had to hop a fence and bench to get onto the single track trail. There was a big hill early on that a lot of folks walked. It was difficult to get around the pack of runners so I think this slowed me down a bit as well. Once we approached the top I took off and found my groove.

Finishing the race
It was a fun and challenging course with a lot of winding and some good climbs here and there. It was a pretty technical trail with tree roots and the yaktrax helped with the stability on the icy trail. I finished the 10K in 57 and change, which made me 8th overall female and 1st in the 30-39 age group. Considering the conditions and my newness to trail racing I was happy with the result. It was nice to hear hubby cheering for me at the end as I finished in a sprint the last hundred or so. Steve had a good race as well finishing in around 48 and around 20th overall.

Hubby and me after finishing the race
After the race we said hello to some friends, met some new friends and headed home for a hard-earned lunch and beer. It was a very fun and well-organized race and we will definitely do this one again as well as some other races that the Dirty Trail Series puts on this year.