I would rather spend 8hrs on the trails then 5hrs on the road. This is how I came to run Rosaryville.
I have been running for years but NEVER ran a race until this year. I have still never run a 5k or a marathon. I started training for a marathon in July after a spring injury. Training was going really well until I ran my first road half marathon. I decided at that point that I just couldnt imagine running 26.2 on the road. So...I started my hunt for a trail marathon! Alas, I could not find one in my area. Instead, I stumbled across Rosaryville. The description said it was a great race for a first 50k. (and it was $30!) I signed up. Adjusted my training miles and never looked back! It is a 10mile trail loop that you run 3loops with an out and back at beginning and end to make up the difference.
Let me also just say that my husband, Rik, trained and ran the race with me after he ran a marathon in the spring and said he would never do another! I am evil like that :)
So...Rosaryville MD is about a 2hr drive. We got up Saturday morning and were on the road at 5am for a 8 o'clock start. Temp was just barely 32*. I only got 2hrs sleep the night before. Half because of excitement but mostly because I am a night shifter and my body doesnt like to sleep at night anymore.
Signed in and headed back to the car to stay warm! It looked like there were about 50-70people there.
Then at about 7:30 I ate a peanut butter Tastykake before heading out to the cold for the pre-race briefing.
At exactly 8:00 they sang the national anthem and then we were off with a "Ready. Go!"
The start is a down hill grassy section out to the road for about 1/2mile to the trail head. Temp 39*-perfect! Starting chatting with a lady to find out it was her first 50k and she was there with her daughter, also running.
We headed into the single track...a nice leaf covered well groomed trail. Not even 2miles in and new lady friend is down with a thud already. She is okay and we all continue on. By mile 5, new lady friends daughter fell! This course is really nice but rooty and all of the leaves hid them well! ALOT of falling everywhere.
Not much to say about the first loop. There was an AS at the start of the loop and middle which made it really nice and evenly spaced. I skipped the first AS at mile 5. I was moving along nicely and had a hydration pack. I finished the first loop in 2hrs.
Onto loop 2. It was not as nice. I was running good but the thoughts of a whole third loop were in my mind. A couple of people passed me, which I didnt mind because I hate when people run on my tail. And I started to feel achy...already!! That had me down a bit. Then at the half way AS (15mile point) the volunteers filled my pack and must have missed my bladder because my back and top of my shorts were wet. I stopped and checked to make sure it wasnt leaking but it wasnt. It and I were all wet. Ate some salted potatoes, banana for the road and stuffed a handful of gummy bears in my pocket. Also took two Tylenol for my achiness. And off I went. Then the front runners started passing me. I think 5 passed me the second half of the loop. That again got me down abit...thinking they were almost done and i had a whole nother loop to go yet! Bah! I just kept running along leap frogging with a couple of people. I knew i was getting close to the 20mile AS and started day dreaming of my plans for when i got there. When all of a sudden...THUD...down i went! Lucky thing was that i fell into a nice pile of leaves! Was up and running again in seconds. Good thing I took that Tylenol :)
Got to the AS and spent the most time here. One girl that i was leapfrogging with was calling it quits as she had only planned on running 20 that day. I tried to talk her into finishing with me. We had made it 2loops in 4hrs. We had 4 more hours for 1 more loop. We could have walked the entire distance and finished before cutoff! No talking her into it. She thanked me for the incentive for getting this far as she said that I was the one in her sights to try to keep up with. (that made me feel good) I finished my soda, chips, M&Ms. Got my pack back from the volunteer. Grabbed a GU out of my drop bag. Grabbed a banana for the road and i was off again for my last loop.
The third loop was probably the best. I ran this entire loop alone that I could see except for about a dozen mountain bikers that passed me at different times along the way. I had told myself that I was okay with walking the whole thing if i had to. To just enjoy it! And that I did. My body felt great this whole loop. I slowed the pace to a jog and walked most hills (there are only small hills on this course). Got to mile 25 AS and only needed a banana and some gummies. The volunteers said I looked great-of course they say that to everyone i am sure :) And off i went. Pulled out my phone to text Rik to see if he finished yet. And of course he already texted me encouraging words! By the time of his text I knew he had finished in under 5hrs because he didnt take his phone with him.
I finally finished the third loop and made it out to the road. The pic above is me emerging from the trail with Rik waiting. I hit the road for the final 1/2ish mile uphill run and OUCH! That road hurt my body! I walked the steepest part of the hill with Rik by my side. The finish line came into view and I starting running again up a grassy hill to the end. It was an amazing feeling!!! I dont have the official time but know that it was under 6:38! I was hoping to be under 7:00 and I did it! Temp at the end was a nice 60*. We could not have had better weather.
Walked around a little bit and drank some gatorade. Then changed my clothes. As we were getting ready to leave I saw two ladies running for the finish line...it was new lady friend and her daughter (Mary and Megan). We walked back up to congratulate them. Mary said she ended up falling 5times-what?! But they finished in good spirits too.
It was an awesome experience! It was billed as a fast, 99% single track, runnable course and great for a first timer. It def. held true to that. Cant wait to do my next one in January :) Today is the day after and I feel good. Legs are sore of course but feet are great. Rest and eat today. Back out on the trails tomorrow :)
Hope you all liked my also first ever 50k/race report/blog post!!