I’m linking up with Cynthia from You Signed Up For WHAT?!, Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC and Mar from Mar on the Run for Friday Five. This week’s Friday Five topic is fitting — 5 Race Day Surprises. It’s great because I’ve been waiting to post my race recap from Race N Taste last Saturday. First I’m going to start with the race recap.
We were shuttled via school bus from the local high school to Hiram House Camp. (I’ve been riding more and more school buses as of late. It’s quite odd.)
We got our bibs and bags at the Fire Station, and then headed to Taylor Hall to check said bags. At this point we decided to use the bathroom (flushing toilets — raise the roof y’all!), and after pinning our bibs, we headed down to the ball field where the race was going to start.
Unfortunately the guy who heads up the race production company wasn’t there yet, so almost all of the runners were ready and waiting for quite some time. We milled about. It was an extremely warm day, and the race didn’t start until 9:30 am. While we waited, I showed my husband a little bit of camp and we admired the ropes course and climbing wall.
Sidenote: I have so many memories at Hiram House, it was hard to keep them all from flooding back in at once!
It was finally time to line up, and we were off! The trail portion of the race was more technical than I remembered. It wasn’t hilly with huge, steep climbs, but it wasn’t the groomed bridle trail I was used to running in the Metroparks. Once we were out of the woods, we ran along the main drive through the Orange Schools campus. In the sunshine. Which, oddly enough, made it less hot. We did a quick turnaround at the old Moreland Hills school (where I went to elementary school — yay!), and then headed toward the new Moreland Hills school, and back to camp.
At camp, we ran past the barn and horse arena, to mile 2 — which I sponsored! It was so awesome seeing my sign. There was no chance I was going to PR in the heat we experienced during the race, so I thought, “what the heck” and pulled off to take a picture. 🙂
After that we saw one of our good friends at the barn directing runners to walk down a steep hill where recent heavy rains had washed out part of the trail. We stopped to give a hug and say hi, and then we continued on. We also didn’t walk. But don’t tell our buddy because we don’t want to get yelled at.
This part of the trail was much smoother but still had to be careful not to slip on loose rocks and gravel. We came out of the woods at the old barn, and did a circle at the top parking lot where we ran into two more friends! I didn’t even recognize one, actually. She was wearing a hat, so I’m pretty sure that’s why. But after I realized who it was, I of course had to stop for another hug.
And then the best part… At the very end just before the finish, I challenged my husband to sprint and see who won. Thankfully there was a girl in an orange tank top (who I’m pretty sure I went to high school with) who split us up because it was just enough for me to pull ahead and win. Boom! Unfortunately I have no race time so it’s not a legit win. But a picture is worth a thousand words.
The tasting partners were great. Our kids had a blast. They loved walking around camp and exploring the weather rock. They had a great time eating all the food. There was music, a raffle with five different prizes, beer and wine, and just a super atmosphere all around. Hiram House always puts on a great event, and Race N Taste was no exception. I very much look forward to 2016.
So, my 5 Race Day Surprises, as they pertain to Race N Taste:
1. Seeing friends on the course
I’m fairly certain the girl in the orange tank — the one that separated my husband and me in the finisher’s chute and allowed me to beat him — was someone I went to high school with! It was a super small race and I knew a lot of people there, but I totally had no idea it was her. Things like this give me a little chuckle. What are the odds?! (Well, probably really high for this race in particular…)
I’m fairly close with the family that has been running Hiram House Camp for however many years now, and it was really fun to see them all throughout the course and of course at the end as well. I stopped for hugs from all of them. I’m sure they all appreciated the sweaty hugs. 🙂
2. The course itself
The course itself wasn’t a surprise, per se, but it was much more technical than I remembered from my cross country, and even later high school, days. Lots of roots and rocks. I saw a bunch of people wipe out before we even hit the first mile. Fortunately they were just little falls and everyone got up and kept running — but still! Made me recall some sound advice from my cross country days: “Watch your footing!”
3. The heat!
Oh man. I did not plan for the heat. I’m a warm weather runner. We all know that. I thrive in running in a tank and shorts, and I don’t balk at the sunshine. This is my groove. But starting a race later in the morning than I’m used to on a hot and humid day — whooo! That was something. I most definitely did not PR.
4. Getting lost on the way back to the car
Yep. That happened. I used to be intimately familiar with camp, but it’s been about 10 years (maybe more?) since I was last there romping around the grounds. I was leading my husband to a shortcut to the car so we could pick up our kids and my dad for the “taste” half of Race N Taste, and I got us lost. I had to send for help.
5. All the great vendors!
Race N Taste was awesome. There were some delicious vendors that were set up for the taste aspect. Ice cream, homemade pies, local eateries. O.M.G. And a massage tent! Need I say more?
If you’re in the Cleveland area and are interested in a small, local trail race, I highly recommend Race N Taste. They’re already in the planning stages for 2016, so stay tuned!
|Running with the bulls. Boo-yah!|
Hope y’all have a fabulous weekend. “See you” Monday!
Tell me… what’s YOUR favorite local race? Distance? City and state?