Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quick & Dirty 8K Trail Race Report

One of my absolute favorite things about fall in Cleveland, Ohio is trail running! What's not to love about running through a sea of colors? Not to mention breathing in the fresh fall air and the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet. What can I say? I am hooked!

When I realized that The Dirty Trail Series had a race in mid October right by me in Kirtland at the beautiful Chapin Forest I could not resist signing up. The race did not disappoint. I highly recommend this or any of the Dirty Series races. Race director Joe Jurczyk is a great guy and is very passionate about trail running and running in general.


keeping warm prerace!
With a 9am start Steve and I were able to sleep in until 7am! This is maybe one of my favorite things about shorter fall trail races. We got up and had breakfast and went through our usual routine and left the house around 7:45, arriving at the Hobart Rd entrance of Chapin Forest around 8.  We picked up our bibs and goodies, said hi to some friends and hit the trails for the usual mile warm up. I We hung out in the heated car until close to the start to stay warm. It was a chilly morning with temps in the low to mid 40s but the rain had held off, which was good!

The Race:

start of the race. steve out front I'm in the gray run tee & blue visor
We lined up about 5 minutes before the start. I had decided to just wear my arm warmers and I could take them off if I heated up. A couple quick announcements and we were off! The race started in a field and it was a little wet so as the pack took off there was definitely some water flying. The hubby was right out front leading the guys and I started in the front as well having only been passed by 2 females.

As we entered the woods the first 1/2 mile - maybe mile was on a crushed gravel trail but then we turned right and the trail quickly turned technical with tons of rocks and roots and leaves. It was darker in the woods but the brightness of the leaves was gorgeous. There were quite a few good climbs in the race including one straight up hill that pretty much everyone walked at least some of (including me). It also rained some but I enjoyed that as it made the race feel more like a fall trail race.

Heading back I tried to stay with the group of guys I had been running close to. I hadn't seen any other women pass so I figured I was still in third place. At one point I saw the woman in front of me and came close to catching her but then there was some confusion about the course. I saw a number of people including some women coming towards me in the opposite direction and I was confused so I asked them what they were doing. They had missed a loop of the course and told us to keep heading to the finish. I figure I lost a little time here maybe 20 or 30 seconds until I got back on track. My garmin then read 4.5 miles so I knew we had to be close to the finish.

Lucky #3456 and my 3rd place medal!
Once I saw the finish I sprinted and passed one of the guys running with the group and I saw Steve ahead yelling for me. I finished the course in 38:37 (8:03 pace). I was a little bummed I didn't break 8 but was happy overall with the 3rd place female finish on a tough course.  I guess with a lucky # like 3456 you have to have a good race, right?! I was awarded with a cool medal and camelback bottle for the win. Steve also had a good race finishing 1st in the masters division and 7th overall with a time of 33:45 (7:02 pace).


After the race it was chilly so we threw on our sweats and headed over to Pulp to treat ourselves to some postrace smoothies to celebrate. I am looking forward to more trail races this season before a couple of months off racing for the off season.

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