Saturday, 16 August 2014

Goodbye trail race virginity: Iroquoia Trail Test race report

A couple of weeks ago, I was suddenly aware of a strange feeling.  Did I have indigestion or perhaps a touch of fever? No, it was a crazy and sudden desire to do a trail race. This time of year has no shortage of trail races and Iroquoia Trail Test was nearby and the 7K was an affordable price.  Wait! the 18K promised more than twice as much trail fun for only $10 more, plus I wouldn't have to juggle my schedule in order to fit a long run in.  But Greg was interested in the 7K and I thought it would really suck for him to have to hang around and wait a couple hours for me, plus 18K in the woods is a really long time without any company.  And then Emma said she was LR-ing on the Sunday, so my decision was made.
I had no goals in this race except a) not die on the hills b) not fall flat on my face c) not get eaten alive by them damn skeeters and d) a teeny tiny hope that I'd finish under an hour.  On the drive up to Crawford Lake, I was quite nervous but we arrived before I got in a wholesale panic.  I found a bunch of trees to do my business only to find other runners squatting nearby, fortunately everything that should have been hidden was.  I like how trail runners make like a bear in the woods, because I had no intention of repeating my porta-potty nightmare at NFWHM.

The 7K and 18K runners started together, with the 34K people starting earlier.  Greg and I had said we would run together, but I knew from past runs that he has different ideas of what "running together" meant so when he got ahead of me right away and then 100 m ahead less than 1K in, I yelled for him to go ahead, but I was annoyed by that.

7 KM – A good test for the novice trail runner –  largely flat but with some technical bits
ha. ha. HAHAHAHAH!  I had no delusions that this would be the trail equivalent of the Chicago Marathon, but I think only about 2K of the course was actually flat.  Since I suck equally at running up and down hills on trails, all I heard constantly was "on your left! on your left!" and some bare chested speed demon would blaze by, leaving me to navigate the trails on what was not necessarily the best way through. (read: rocks. roots. very slippery. much trip. wow.)  Amazingly, I managed to stay upright the entire time, walking 99% of the hills and running as quickly as I could on the flats.

I went through 5K in 45:xx, good gawd! and was REALLY glad I didn't sign up for the 18K, as I realized something that I enjoy about my trail training runs is the feeling of being alone in the woods.  I didn't like people breathing down my neck and having to dodge the speed demons on what should have been singletrack.

Greg came running back to find me (ugh! I hate that!) and I was veeeeeeeeery glad to be done.  I felt like I chickened out a LOT on the hills, but not too bad considering I biked 36K yesterday and was at the end of my training week. Will I do another trail race? yeah probably.  It might be a LONG time, if ever, before I'll want to tackle anything like the 25Ks that seem to be a pretty common trail distance. Somehow the mosquitoes did not find me, and I was happy to accomplish 2 of my 4 goals.

The #burlingtonskirtbrigade has always told me that trail races have better food. Peameal bacon sandwich? yeeeeeeeeeeeeeah! Sure beats a stale bagel and green banana!

Greg and I will celebrate 10 years together on August 18. Next week our anniversary adventure so to speak, will be jumping through muddy puddles at Mud Hero.

Official chip time: 56:16
Pace: 8:03 / kilometer
Field Placement: 46 / 62 (74.2%)
Age group: 0 – 39
Group Placement: 18 / 21 (85.7%)
Gender Placement: 29 / 41 (70.7%)


  1. You should check out Run for the Toad - it is a great race. Not technical at all although pretty hilly. Great job on this race!

    1. I did, but I am already planning to do the Wineglass 5K that same weekend.

  2. Great job, congratulations!

  3. Nice work on your first trail run!

  4. The title of this post makes it sound so dirty... ;)

    Happy Anniversary!

    1. I have this way of making everything sound dirty. That's how my brain works. :)