Monday, February 4, 2013

Squirrelly Tail Twail Run (1/2marathon-race report)

Before I started to write this years race report I had to go back and read last years report from the same race. Interesting what a difference a year makes. Last year was colder with a bone chilling wind. This year was only slightly warmer with temps still below freezing but we had an incredible amount of ice to deal with. Also, this year the course start was at a different location and the course itself was slightly different.

Rik & I got up at the oh so early time of 6am for a 10am race. I was less then thrilled about this but we needed to stop by the Starbucks store to pick up enough coffee to make 300 cold people warm/happy and all the supplies that go along with that.

We got to Pinchot at about 9am and set up the coffee. I checked in and got my bib. Then started chatting with a bunch of people. I couldnt believe how many of my friends were running the race that I didnt know about! For a local race, last year there werent as many. The word is out that this second year race is a good one.

Scott, the RD got us off to a quick start just after 10. He warned everyone of the ice and not even 200ft down the trail, a girl on my left slid onto her back with a thud. That kind of set the tone for the race. Lots of ice and some very cautious running! Oh, and many more of mother natures obstacles on the course this year. Alot of over, under and around things. Very cool.
Paul running in shorts in 22 degrees!
I started off running with Sue. She is usually faster then me but with the ice she needs to take it even more cautiously then normal. We stayed together for about the first 5 miles. We were running with a nice group of about 6 girls. Everyone was slipping and sliding on the trails but I saw no one fall immediately around me. At one point I was directly behind two girls and wanted to pass but every time I thought I could I would slip and slide and change my mind to just stay where I was. Eventually they moved to the side and I went around. We lost some of the girls at the water crossing (just taking longer to get across). I managed to make it across with dry feet. Woohoo! It was a different water crossing this year then last and it makes me wonder if the water was just to high at the other area. Its a very good possibility. Once we made it to the aid station at 6 miles I kept going while everyone else took their time there.
Josh- look at their great running form!
Im not sure how far I ran by myself but it felt good. I was just cruising along thinking about all of the kids that I was running for that day. The kids who cant run and I was running for them as much as myself. I cant explain how amazing it felt. As I was running I kept noticing swedish fish laying on the trail. It was as if someone was laying a trail of them. Hmm.

I eventually came up to the road crossing and back around onto the trail. This is where I met up with Carli & Vanessa. We were running together and chatting when Vanessa (who knows how much I adore gummies) asked if I saw the swedish fish on the trail. She said that she had tripped and her bag of candy went flying! Ha! No wonder they were all down the trail.
I shed the gloves, ear warmer, and jacket with in the first few miles!
I know that once I started running with them that we picked up the pace. I was having trouble keeping up but determined to do so! Neither of them wear a watch and had no idea how far we were. I knew I was getting tired because we were cruising a down hill and I felt like I wanted to walk. I didnt but I knew I must be getting tired to feel this way. I eventually told them that we had two more miles and that was when they both kicked it into high gear and took off. I couldnt keep up but I did manage to still pass two more people after that.

As I came out of the woods to the final stretch I could see that we had a long flat open stone trail. I decided to walk for a couple of seconds while talking to some guy wearing the YakTraks. He wasnt very happy with them and they sounded heavy. I started to run again. I rounded the last bend to see my friend Gary waiting for me. He started to yell for me to run to finish under 3hrs. He started to run with me and everyone at the finish line started yelling for me. Then he started to yell to pick it up and finish under 2:58. I dug down deep and ran across the line right about at the 2:58 mark.

I went and chatted with people, got some chocolate and headed back over to the finish line to cheer Sue in to the finish.
Even the first place guy had both knees busted up!
Eventually almost everyone was done except one more person out on the trail. We started to pack things up while waiting for him. He came around the bend and we all started cheering for him. He had a friend running him into the finish as well. It was so awesome and inspiring. He said that it was his first trail race and very first half marathon too. What an experience for a first one! He had the biggest smile on his face and said he cant wait to do it again.

That is what is all about folks. A great day running on the trails. Fun.

*My Garmin info last year was 12.4 miles/ 2:38 time/ 12:41 pace
                           this year was 13.08 miles/ 2:58 time/ 13:38 pace


  1. I had the app for this race but forgot about it! Next year!

    1. Definitely run it next year. It was a blast...even with the ice! It has sold out both years so I think it is going to get quite popular :)

  2. Woooow. I can't imagine doing a trail run in the ice/snow and not falling flat on my face/butt. Congrats on keeping your footing! And making it all the way through a half THAT cold!!!

    1. My upper body is quite sore today from trying to remain upright yesterday, lol!

  3. Replies
    1. No falling for me so it was all good. But Rik was at the finish line and he said it was crazy how many people were banged up. The worst, I think, was a gash to the face but don't know if he fell or caught a branch.

  4. I love trail running so much but will admit I've never done it in the snow. I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to the cold weather. But I am anxious to get out there when Spring comes.

    I love watching people and their excitement when it's their first race. That was sweet you got to see that guy experience his.

    Chocolate at a finish line?? That would be an awesome treat! Never had that provided at a race before.

    1. I hate the cold all except for when I am running! I could definitely do without the snow and ice though.
      And chocolate? Yes! It was at the aid station and finish line! It just would be a sin not to have that at a trail race :)

  5. Funny thing is, I was overheating in that picture, Stacey! Right after that photo, Rik was awesome and stowed my jacket.

    1. He told me! I handed him my ear cover band and tied my jacket around my waist right after there. I overdressed for sure!