Often I pick a race spontaneously and at the last minute due to constrains on my time.
I will troll though the various running sites until I find an interesting race.
I chose this race because I could make it there from overnight work on time.
It was a cool, humid, not rainy, not misty but kind of nasty fall day.
Not the crisp fall day where dry leaves crackle under your feet and you smell the smoke of a distant fire.
So I chose the Dirt Monster 5 miler.
There were people in purple tutus and a couple of running clubs with matching shirts.
The crowd was very insular. Everyone seemed to know everyone else.
There was a hint of smarmy hipsterism. I felt like the ‘Son of the Invisible Man’ from ‘Amazon Women on the Moon.’
I could have walked around the crowd naked and no-one would have noticed.
All they were missing was the brie, champagne and bad Indie faux-folk music.
I don’t mind the anonymity though that’s half the reason I choose races at random.
But, I digress…
Now I must add transition between paragraphs to make this composition acceptable.
This was my slowest time for any distance race ever, I think.
It lived up to its reputation.
It was a five-mile trail run through a large county park.
The vertical gain was 548 feet mostly over the first half of the course, bottom to peak was around 250 feet.
My ‘Map My Run’ phone ‘app’ seems to overstated distances if a course is hilly or has many twists and turns. Either that or the distance was poorly measured. The lady behind me thought the course was measured wrong as well, but on rough, hilly terrain it is very difficult to measure.
There was a steep hill at the very start that knocked the wind out of me.
The next hill was much steeper and much worse.
I’ve never in my life walked any part of a race before until this one.
Most of the slow pack towards the rear of the column of runners walked these two hills.
Once we crested the top it was OK, then we went down the other side but across uneven very rocky terrain.
I ended up in a neck and neck race with a group of about ten people.
There was a young lady, a man about my age or a bit older, a family, and a woman about my age who would take photos of the fall foliage as she ran.
After we crested the hill on the upside, I caught my wind again, but it was too late to affect my horrific time, the damage was done.
I actually passed or stayed ahead of the whole group except for one woman who I see-sawed with down the incredibly steep and rocky last mile and a half.
We couldn’t tell where we were because or GPS apps were so far off from the marked distances.
The family of about five passed me on the downhill in the last half mile. I just didn’t have the juice to keep up with the on the ferocious downhill.
But I stayed ahead of the others.
It was horrible. The downhills were so steep that they were rough on your knees and you had a good danger of losing control.
I ran the last two miles with a guy about my age, not sure how we can still do it.
I staggered across the finish line.
When I came back, all the doughnuts were gone, the drinks were water out of a jug.
Would I do it again? Maybe next year if I’m in better shape.
Peace be the Botendaddy