You can’t complain about a free race! That being said, I was quite surprised when my Garmin said 4 miles at the end of the race, it was after all the MDRA Mudball Classic 4 miler. In the 3 years we’ve lived here, this is the first of the free races that I’ve run. I look forward to doing more of them.
Obviously, low-key this trail race at the Quaking Bog was a perfectly fun way to get back into the race scene. It was 36f with wind chill of 22 at the start, fortunately it was quite sunny. I was perfectly dressed: shorts, long sleeve, and singlet with gloves and ear warmers. Took off the ear warmers mid-second lap. Before the race started I wasn’t sure if I’d dressed properly or not, so I was quite glad as we started that it felt good.
The race was 3 1.34 mile loops starting just up the trail from the Quaking Bog parking lot. Within the first 30 feet you were heading up a hill. There are a million different options for running through the Quaking Bog area and I think there were 3 or 4 “major hills” and then a few smaller ones. I positioned myself towards the middle of the pack and went out really slow. I had no idea what to expect since I’ve only done slow base mileage. My goal was to have fun and finish strong. I ended up deciding to push up the hills and recover on the downhill and flats. This worked out pretty well and I dropped 3 or 4 people doing that. They would catch up on the flat and then fall back on the hills.
One of the tougher uphills had a tree fallen over the trail, but it was easy to jump/steeple over. The race photographer was there on one of the laps and I’m sure he got some great pictures. If I find the pics, I’ll post a link or post them. This added a fun challenge!! There actually wasn’t a lot of mud, except for at the finish area. This was a fairly large muddy area that got worse each time we ran through!! It made me smile each time. There was a table with water on it around the start area and I paused each time by to grab a drink. I actually stopped and drank, because there was no sense in trying to drink while going up the hill!
The course was marked with flour or chalk (white arrows) which were pretty easy to see, except for in some of the grassier areas. A young boy almost missed a turn on the first loop and in the last lap I almost turned too early (both would have been major short cuts)!
When we came through the second lap someone was yelling out times and I was at 23 something. I felt like that was a pretty good pace and guessed that I was under 10 minute pace and would finish well under 40 minutes. I remember previous run in this area last year when I was in shape that were hard to be under 10 minute pace so I was happy with that. I made sure no one passed me in the last lap and really only had one person try but he ended up 10-15 seconds behind me.
Overall only one person passed me and stayed in front, sadly it was a woman, but she was 3rd overall female I think. I finished in the top 20 (17) and 3rd in my age group. Official Results! Great pictures by Wayne Kryduba. I ran the 4 miles in 34:54. Quite pleased!!
Great morning, great race!!