Sunday, September 6, 2015

MEC Night Trail Race 2015 - And the Winner Is....

Well not me. I actually came in second, though that is usually par for the course at MEC races locally. It is a a bit of a joke with the great crew that puts on the races. Realistically, though, I am surprised I ended up there.

This race was a late addition to my race calendar, a good 5k distance run. It was new this year and I decided to do it because it would be a fun challenge. And really I just wanted to have a little fun and not kill myself in the process.

The weather was great, cool end of summer night in a local park. The trails here are designed more for cross country skiing and mountain biking and therefore are not groomed for casual walking. There are tons of rocks and ruts enroute, which made it a fun adventure for sure.

After some pre race chatting, it was time to line up.

For some reason everyone lined up behind me. I have no idea why. But then we were off. Quickly a few runners went ahead. As my goal was to survive and not hurt myself, I decided to hang back a bit.

Also on the route was a series of small red blinking lights. If you found one and took it, MEC would give you a $10 gift card at the finish. Initially I thought, I'd rather have a medal than the gift card, but as we approached the first one I saw (it was the second) I found myself in 6th place. So I quickly ran over, hoped a small fence, grabbed the light and resumed my race.

I apparently lost little time as I was back with the lead group, minus the leader who was pulling away. The pace though seemed easy as we hit the 1 km mark, so I decided to move forward. A few more passes and I had moved into second, with first likely 100m up the trail or so (I could see his light).

The trail started to get rougher and the big hills were coming by. It was slow going up those. As I ran passed the marshals they would cheer and then I would listen to hear them cheer again as the third place runner went by. Seems I had pulled a bit of a lead over him by half way through the race.

I was still quite close to the overall leader, but at 3km in I almost rolled my ankle (on a flat piece of ground no less), and decided to take it a bit easier. I slowed down a bit and kept going.

Pretty quickly I could here the sounds of cheering at the finish line so I knew I was close. The ground turned to crusher dust so I could run a little faster and boom, out of no where the finish line. Whew. I crossed in second place with a time of 20:24 for 5km. The winner had cross about 50 seconds ahead of me. But I was $10 richer!

We also had a beer vendor at the finish line which was lovely while waiting for friends to finish. And it was great to see Tom come out for this crazy adventure!

Every so often, pick a fun race, especially when they are inexpensive!  Now to rest up for next weekend's half marathon.

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