Muddy Moose 4 miler
Bib: 550 Time: 52:54 Pace: 13:13
It’s a rather warm April morning as we gather at the start. I was hoping to try the 14 miler this year but I have had set backs with my bum let leg. Maybe next year… Josh and I share a kiss and good luck wishes and he joins up with John and his other running friends. I’m excited that two new friends are joining us this year. Dustin, our friend since back in college and Sara, John’s fiancé. This is the first trail race for both of them. As we shift around at the start I loose sight of everyone and soon the start single is given.
We start out running down paved road by the ball fields then down the pack dirt road by the golf course before turning onto the trails in the woods. It’s a hot and I’m already breathing heavy trying to keep up with the main running pack. I quickly loose ground on most of the runners and fall to back third of the group. I look around for Sara and assume she is somewhere up ahead of me.
The mud puddles along the trail are well trampled and a mess by all the runners ahead me. I jog along trying my best to stay out of worst of it. It’s early in and I all ready feel hot and tired. I’m so glad I am running with a water belt and make good use of it. There is hardly anyone left around me. But I track down three runners ahead of me to begin to them chase down. After leap frog with 2 of them, I finally pull ahead them on the last climbs before the 2 mile mark.
I know I’m close to the turn around because the lead runners are coming back down the trail on their way to the finish. Its always impressive seeing these guys sprinting toward the finish. It is a trail race and the winner will still finish in less than 30 minutes. I would be thrilled and amazed with 45 minute finish.
Ugh it’s hot. I grab some water at the 2 mile aid station, one cup to drink and one to pour over my head. Again I wonder if I will catch up to Sara as I head up the road. I hate the heat. It’s not even that hot but it’s the hottest day yet this year and its draining me. I force my self into a run as we make our way along an easy road section. I make the sharp right turn and begin a paved down hill run that leads back to woods. I see people ahead of me and behind me. I try to pick up my pace to reel in the runners in front me but they are also using the downhill well, I can’t gain on them at all. I turn onto the trail and feel pretty good. It’s the home stretch. I notice a gentleman ahead of me that I’m slowly gaining on. By the time we get to a good muddy water section I’m edging to find a way around him. He begins to carefully go around the edge of the mucky water and I run right threw it and pass him. He continues to fall back as I continue on.
I hit a wall as I begin climbing some hills. I know it’s mostly flat and down hill once a get up them, but getting up them feels like a death march. The only thing that keeps me moving is I hear some girls somewhere behind me chatting. I look back but I can’t see them, but they are back there somewhere and I don’t want them to pass me.
My mood is better. I jog down the hills and dance around and threw the muddy torn up trail. I see another guy head of me. He looks tired and is mostly picky his way around the worst of the mud holes. I quickly catch up to him and I decided to run threw the mud to pass him. As I run threw the mud I stumble and almost take a header into the mud. I recover and pass the guy and continue on. I laugh because every year I stumble at some point going threw these last few muddle puddles.
The trail levels to the last section. I’m back on the golf cart road. I don’t have the energy to jog up the last hills and power walk the best I can. I get to top where it turns back to pavement. I see two girls up head. I kick it the best I can in this heat. But there are too far ahead for me to catch them. I keep up the pace and finish strong.
I see the time and I’m little bummed that it is slower then last year. But I’m not too surprised because of heat and my training has been light due to my leg. A good note is my leg did not bother me at all during the run and gives me hope for the racing season. I find that Dustin is long done and had great time. A few minutes later I find Sara and find out she actually was behind me the whole time. She is very excited that she finished and has me take a picture of her muddy legs and shoes. We all hang out at the finish waiting for the rest of our friends running the 14 miler to finish.