So better late than never when it comes to race reports, right ?
The Green Legs and Hamstrings 5k/10k/Half Marathon was March 21st, 2015. This year makes the 3rd time I have run the race but the first time I did the half distance. (Not sequential years; I did ’11, ’13 and ’15)
I must commend the race directors for getting the course laid out much much better compared to years past. I can remember the 10k & half marathon starting together and staying together for several miles of single track trail in previous years; but this year there was a delayed start and different courses for each race. As always; post race food was beyond wonderful; although some of the prime options were nearly gone by the time the half marathon folks started rolling through the finish. (Only turkey sandwiches were left; chicken salad was all gone…) There was plenty of chicken nuggets and such around though. That’s what I love about our local trail races- no healthy bananas and oranges to be found…just fried chicken and sandwiches!
The race itself was held on the Anglers Park mountain bike trails in Danville Va, a set of single track trails that total some 25+ miles; which I have been told are some of the best rated in Virginia and highly respected on the entire east cost. The terrain is tough which is to be expected; but it was amplified this year by the week-long rain that settled in the week before the race.
Race morning was predicted to have showers but when I got up it looked like we may have gotten lucky enough to be able to run dry. How wrong I was. About 10 minutes before the race it started drizzling and never let up; turning into a downpour before the race was done. Several of the uphills and the tighter turns became walking speed only for me due to slipping and sliding in the mud. It did make for quite an interesting run. I wound up on hands and knees more times than I could count; and once had to literally crawl to the top of a
mound hill mountain. I slipped and fell and couldn’t get traction to get back started. I ran the first couple miles with the lead pack but soon realized I couldn’t keep the pace and stepped aside to let them pass. I wound up running the next 11 miles virtually alone. I did manage to come up on one guy at roughly mile 8 or 9 and quickly passed him but otherwise I’d only catch fleeting glimpses of the folks in front or behind me. I believe its mile 10 that is a flat out and back gravel road loop that was about a mile long. It was here I finally saw some of my fellow runners- the #2 guy was exiting the loop as I started it; 3&4 were coming back to me; then the two guys that were 5 and 6 were maybe a quarter mile in front. I thought I was done after this loop but was surprised to find I had to make one final loop on the single track trail to be able to finish. I’m never sure at a trail race because my GPS is notoriously bad at judging distance with the quick switchbacks. The loop back was a repeat of the first mile of the race and after 2 hours of running and people and rain the trail was invisible. All I had to follow was a muddy river where the trail used to be.
The volunteers this year were great. All so happy and cheerful to be standing in the woods in a downpour for a couple of hours; diligently giving good directions and cold water/Gatorade. One final volunteer gave me my last big turn to make it out of the trails towards the finish.
The awards are nice; but obviously not one off custom. As a matter of fact the finishers medal was the same one as I have gotten in past races as an age group award; as was the age group award. I wound up with an 11.8 mile race (but mapmyrun says it was more like 12.98). I finished in 2:11:58; which I consider to be a PR due to the fact that I’ve never ran a trail half before. 7th place overall; and I’m still splitting hairs on how I did in my age group. Officially I was 2nd; however the guy who beat me was 1st overall which typically means I should be considered my age group winner. I can only assume and hope that he at least got to take away the medal for both 1st overall and 1st in our AG….otherwise I’d feel ripped off bigtime.
A well planned and executed race, all in all.