Last weekend I ran my first trail anything and had a fantastic time thanks to the Kansas City Trail Nerds. Quite a while back I had seen this race on a running website and put it on the calendar because I have wanted to get out and run on the trails and thought something like this would force me to get out and about. Well...it never happened and I showed up on Saturday morning with no real idea what to expect.
The day was almost perfect, sunny but not too hot and considering how hot it has been and how hot is now, I really don't know how we got such a good day. The course was out at Wyandotte County Lake Park on the Western edge of Wyandotte County, Kansas. Truthfully I was not really sure where to go as I had never been out to that part of the area, after a couple of wrong turns I managed to get to the start area and made my way over to the park shelter to register and pay for the race. I enjoyed the atmosphere as it was very cordial and inviting...and the event was only $8!! So I paid and made my way around the little park area to try and warm up a little, it was my second week of little or no running because of my schedule and some lingering lower leg pain that thankfully did not surface at all during the race.
The Race. Wow. For my first ever adventure out on the trails I had a blast! The first part of the course was not very technical as it was pretty flat and only a few obstacles and mud along the route. After a mile or so we hit the turn around point and there was some water so I took a breather and headed back to the finish. Although the first part of the course was somewhat flat I was not used to the mud and tree limbs (both overhead and below) and the jumping and dodging was a new experience while running. On the way back things got much more interesting as there was a rather long uphill section that really beat me up. I did not actually have to "climb" anything but I did have to go slow and make it up an incline, this section seemed longer than it was and soon I was back on the downhill to flat section and on to the finish.
Finishing the race felt good and I was glad to have finished under full power!
Everyone I met was extremely nice and there was lots of encouragement from the other runners along the way. I hope to make several more events and some training runs in the evening, I did join the group and will be sporting my t-shirt sometime soon. If you are in the KC area I encourage you to get out and make one of the Trail Nerd's events, you won't regret it. There is a 5K this weekend that appears to be out of my league...I may show up and cheer the finishers on, who knows??
My time was just under 37 minutes...a new trail PR for me!!!