Friday, February 20, 2015

Run for Regis Trail Half Marathon Race Report

Race season officially started this year on January 31st at Run For Regis. I think this is the earliest that I've ever started my season. Although with the conditions many people don't consider it a race but rather a "fun" run. My plan was to push myself as hard as I could that day given the conditions and that's how it went. Really it goes like this with most trail races - especially in the winter when terrain can vary greatly and footing is tricky!

It was a cold start with temps in the single digits so I opted for some extra warm gear such as my balakalava and heavy duty winter gloves, two pairs of Smartwool socks and had plenty of layers on to keep me warm.

The race takes place in the gorgeous Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) and includes a half marathon, 50K as well as other non-traditional distance options like 18 or 22 miles. Packet pickup is inside at the Ledges Shelter where they had the fireplaces going. My first impression after picking up our swag was a good one. They gave out some awesome stuff! The 50K runners started at 7:30 and the half marathoners started at 9am. I enjoyed the later start since we had a 50-minute drive. Steve and I got to see some of our friends and get in a little warm up before the start,

The Start:

Hubby in the front at the start!
The start is just out in front of the shelter as is the checkpoint and finish. We lined up. I told my speedy husband to line up in the front and I was back a few rows. It was slower going than some race starts due to the sloppy uneven snow in the fields leading to the Ledges Trail. Once you get on the trail the snow is mostly packed and a little easier to run on. Not too far in you encounter a nice, steep set of stairs that will get the heart going a little. Then it's little ups and downs and twists and turns as with most trail races.

I felt pretty good through the first aid station, which was around 5 miles. It was so cold that my gels had frozen but I was able to get one down and take a quick drink before heading back into the woods. I feel like I started to labor more as time went on and there were not many people around. I wasn't sure where I was place wise, I just knew at least a few of the usual speed demons like Janet Edwards and her sister Lisa were ahead of me.

bringing it home!
Around mile 8 we headed back to the Ledges to the start and went over the mat for timing as well as being able to get a drink and more gels. I grabbed one to bring with me. The second loop was definitely the more challenging loop as we were running the ledges, which are full of uneven rocks and some hills. It is probably the most beautiful and challenging part of the course - especially heading back in. I definitely felt fatigued heading into the last mile but was able to finish strong with a smile on my face. Not a terrific time at 2:16 ish but I survived it and came in 5th female, which I was happy with. They don't give awards to the age groupers but even if they did I was 4th in my AG - Oye! 35-39 is a tough group of women! Steve ended up finishing 2nd male with a pretty solid time. He has really been running strong the last couple years and it's definitely motivating me to push myself more because at this rate I'll never catch him!

After the race I was freezing! I stopped to get a drink and some snacks and hug my love. I Chatted with some of my friends and then headed to the heated restrooms to change into my dry clothes. After that we headed over with a group of friends to the Winking Lizard in Peninsula for some hard-earned food & hoppy beers!

I definitely will do this race again. Maybe someday I'll even tackle the 50K as I had originally planned. But on this day, I was glad to be finished after 13! The next day we were off to sunny Clearwater Beach, FL and getting ready to race again the following Saturday at a cross country race in warmer temps. That will be my next post!

Below are a couple more photos from the course from the photographer. It truly is beautiful to run here at anytime of the year!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go! I can't believe you ran in these temps. I do agree that running in the Valley is awesome.