I had never run 'off road' before but I knew it was something my husband would love. Well, I also knew he would be partial to the promise of chili, bagels and beer post-run. I even liked the creek crossings, I also liked that runners who were not interested in forging the creek could cross makeshift bridges. The course was challenging in that there were quite a few decent hills, but it was not insane. After all, there were some nice down hills too!
This was my first time doing this race but it was the 20th annual time this race was held. It probably doesn't need to be said, but this race was really, really well done. I heard that the course was different this year to alleviate congestion. Email communication was fantastic and everything went as it was described. The price was good too ($35), the shirts are long-sleeved and bright (they ran big size-wise, but the race organizer is offering a limited exchange) and the volunteers and staff were fantastic.
David and I had a very modest goal of finishing in under an hour. I knew that I would want to walk the uphills. Also, David is not a runner so I didn't expect him to be interested in running 4 miles (followed by working a full 12 hours at work that night). We set off at a leisurely pace and enjoyed the atmosphere and the scenery. We beat our time goal and it must be said that I beat David. Well, by a second and I kind of took off for the finish line at a rapid pace without warning him. Truthfully, I thought he was further behind me when someone from the crowd shouted out at me, "he is gaining on you!". I checked over my shoulder and sure enough he was tying to beat me! It made for a fun finish and David was delighted to learn the meaning of the expression 'getting chick'd'.
There are many aspects of races/runs that I really enjoy. One is the overall atmosphere, people watching is fantastic. You never know what you will see or hear. I also like how encouraging spectators and other runners are. It is such a fun experience, even for someone like me who never really pushes for speed. I have come to the realization that if I finish strong, I feel like my whole run was strong. It works for me. Maybe one day I will want to leave it all out on the pavement, but for now it is enough to be out there running more than racing!
Post-race photo of the faster and slower runner in my marriage. ;)