Even though I wore my pj's inside out and backwards, left a spoon under a pillow, and flushed ice cubes down the toilet, sadly it did not result in ANY snow for my scheduled snowshoe race. Instead the ground remain brown with a considerable amount of ice. I was disappointed that I wouldn't have the opportunity to use my new toys or knock off a bucket list item but was excited to get out anyways and do something since the weather was bearable.
I didn't treat this race as an attempt to PR since I am in the middle of RLRF and this was my very first trail race. The night before I enjoyed an amazing chicken tikka masala at the local Indian restaurant followed by a few beers until later than I should have stayed out.
Fortunately, the race didn't start until 11:00am so we had plenty of time in the morning. Since it was originally a snowshoe race, most people did not come out once it had turned into a trail race. They had an impressive supply of free Mojo Bars, Lara Bars, and Granola Cereal. After picking up bibs and t-shirts I conveniently misplaced my iphone/ipod and spent the next 40 minutes pacing between the warm room and my car looking for it (it was in the inner console of my car).
There was a pre-race debrief that reminded me of my rowing days and coxswain/coaches meetings. I tried to follow as the director told us how the course had changed to avoid most of the ice but I was just hoping to follow other people and not be terribly lost in the state park. There were only 60 participates, which can be easily categorized into 2 groups. Those that took this VERY seriously and those that didn't want to see their entry wasted. I definitely fall into the second category.
|GO GIANTS! ( life time fan, no bandwagoner here!)|
Per usual for most races I do that don't have an official pacer, I started out too fast. My Nike+ marked it as a 9:22 mile. ( Although it also said the course was 3.38 so I'm not entirely sure how accurate it is) Once the course veered into the woods I had to decide to follow the flags or look down to make sure I didn't fall as we ran directly through the woods, no marked/cleared path here! ( I opted to follow the trail) The course had 2 big up hills that were a bit tougher than they should be, but I am running mostly on the treadmill and the trails near my house are on the campus named in Iroquois for Great Plains. They did a fantastic job with placing course marshals anywhere you might try to get lost. There was still a bit of ice or hard crunchy snow that I had to be careful of, but the directors did a great job finding runable space in the park without resorting only to the roads.
I ended up finishing in 34:09 maintaining an 11 minute pace.(per nike+ official results have not yet been posted) I was a bit disappointed, as I've been diligently following RLRF and my over all pace was about 40 seconds slower than my usual pace. But it wasn't a road race, it was my first trail race, and I also didn't stick to any of my usual pre-race routines.
After cheering for the few runners that came in behind me, we went inside for the post race lunch. It seems that the primary running club(Saratoga Striders) that sponsors the event is very organized. There were a variety of different chilies ranging from vegetarian, turkey, and traditional, hot dogs, soups, sandwiches, and sweets. For the price of the event ( I paid $24 to race both this week and next week) I most certainly got my moneys worth.The post race lunch was delicious.
The only slight flaw with the race, was that they had forgotten to collect spindle's from the top few runners, which caused a bit of a ruckus for those who ran without a watch and were also unsure of their race time. But since there are no medals it certainly isn't the end of the world. I highly recommend this event, if you live in the Albany Capital District area, it's small and a great way to get out and meet other local runners.