Sunday, March 31, 2013

Big River Half (er.. almost half)

Big River
Saturday, March 30, 2013

Final race in the 4th Season Trail Race series.

Had hemmed and hawed all week on whether to run the half or the 10K, as well as what effort, as I'm two weeks out from Boston.  Tom and I decided to run it together at a moderately hard, but not all out race, pace.  Picked up Tom and some ice for a cooler for Mike and on our way.  Checked in to pick up my neat bib and met up with Crutch and Jonny and Dave Seddon, and went out for a little warm-up.
How cool is this custom bib?
Note the WTAC team logo and 5-race runner designation.

The siren went off to start the race, and we had about 1/4 mile or so of double track, before getting into single-track single-file running, where Tom and I were just behind Aaron and my guess of about another 10-15 runners ahead of us.  Tom, Aaron, and I ran together for about 2 miles picking off a few runners.  Then Tom pulled ahead of Aaron and we would repeatedly sight and pick out the next runner.  We passed Kenny Shardley about 3 miles in, a couple of other runners, and then Seth at maybe 4 miles.  A lot of hills in this section.  Tom and I took turns leading, and we were really picking up the pace.  We passed through the first water stop in good shape, and somewhere thereafter inadvertently went off on our own trails.  We passed a tall shirtless guy with long hair just before crossing a river where Tom went in the drink.  We saw the red flags as we went up to what look like a teen hangout with rocks painted with drug slogans.  We beared to the left on the only trail we saw, and that I think from later talking to Ben is where we went off course and the trail supposedly went straight up a hill?
Running w/Tom alongside one of the ponds
(Photo courtesy of Justin)
We kept running the trail, and after a while it sunk in that we hadn't seen any red flags in a long time.  Looked back to see the long haired guy following us, so we trekked on.  It was when we came to unmarked trail intersections that we completely stopped and pondered what to do.  The long haired guy and Tom and I decided to head downhill and hung together, and it was a complete shock to me that we ended up back on the trail again!!  We continued on and next saw the sign for "Mile 7", which was then apparent we had cut off at least a mile of the course.  At this point we decided just to continue on to run the rest as a workout, which was our original intention anyway.
Cool running in pine forest @ Big River
(Photo courtesy of Justin)

Jackman came up on us and said "I think you guys made a mistake", which we acknowledged, and let him by.  About Mile 10, Jonny came up on Tom and I (the 3rd guy had dropped back), and we let Jonny pass, but with just 3 miles left and slightly fresher legs than Jonny with the stop and shortcut, we decided to run Jonny in and try to give him some support.  So that's exactly what we did - spied out for the 3rd runner (Principe), gave Jonny some encouragement, and the next few miles flew by.

Final stats from Garmin, which while not 100% accurate, are the best indication I have:  11.3 miles, 1:31.  Found out we were in good company of having run off course and getting lost.  While disappointed to run off course, the high marks of the day outweigh that:   great weather, good WTAC turnout, lots of great people running, familiar face at waterstops (an injured Muddy), I got the good workout that I came for, and just an overall fun ending to the neat series that Mike put on.


  1. Perfect weather, and a fun race! Clamdigger's next!

  2. I went off course too! I was following some guys and then luckily I saw a guy come back the other way and asked him if he had seen flags and he said no, so we were able to get back on course pretty quickly. Sorry you didn't get to do the entire 13.1, but you are right, its hard to complain when the conditions were so nice.

  3. I appreciated the support team the last couple of miles! A great team turnout on a spectacular day.

  4. Nice work getting it done. Sucks you went off course but great job cheering on Jonny!