Where: Wyandotte County Lake Park, Kansas City, Kansas
When: August 6th, 2010 @ 8:15 p.m.
Temp: 87F with dew point of 62F
Finish Time: 1:14:12
Unlike my norm, I'm going to post the majority of pics first and then get on to the race. OK, the real reason is I only have 1 pic taken during the start of the race, the rest were taken prior to the start. These first few pics will give you a glimpse of what the surrounding area looks like.
Facing the start. We cross the ditch and head up to the white sign in the distance, then cut left and hit the trails.
The crowd about 20 minutes before the start
About 10 minutes after the above photo we received some comments from the RD, "Bad Ben." Below are just a couple of the tidbits:
- the trail does have poison ivy near it. For those who don't know what it looks like, just remember "leaves of three, don't wipe with me"
- Please don't litter..there are well trained snipers just waiting to take you out if you throw trash on the ground.
So I guess since this is an RR, I should get on to the race. Since this was only my 2nd trail race and my 1st night trail race, my only goal was to have fun and not get knocked out by a tree. I am happy to report that I accomplished both goals!
Since I didn't know what to expect, I lined up toward the back 1/3 of the pack. It was about the right spot. We get the short countdown and we're off! I hurdle the creek, follow the crowd and start realizing that I am in for a tough, hilly race. We reach the sign, cut into the trail, and I tried to take a picture. Here is the failed result:
After this picture I realized it wasn't going to be worth trying to take pics. So I put the camera away and focused on the trail. I doubt I would have been able to safely take pics while running this race. There where sharp turns, plenty of roots, sections of large, loose, angled rocks, slippery and deep sections of mud, low tree branches, and some logs laying across the trail.
It took about 20 minutes before I needed to turn on my head lamp, that's when it started to get really interesting. It seemed like I was running a lot faster than I was actually going. There were some sections of trail that I slowed down and even walked (mostly uphill) because I almost twisted my ankle several times. I did tweak my left forefoot and it felt like the right half of the foot bent toward the left side. The foot feels fine now.
I could probably have used some trail shoes instead of my older Mizuno Wave Inspires. I think my shoes were too flexible in the forefoot for the technical nature of the trail.
At this time, I must give MAJOR PROPS to everyone who races long distances on trails. This 10K was quite hilly and tough, it definitely took its toll on me. It was soooo much FUN though! It reinforced that I need to run on trails more often.
OK, back to the RR. For most of the race I was following fairly close to others and saw their mishaps in the mud. Learning from their missteps, I went along the edges of the mud. The mud wouldn't have been bad, except it was as slippery as ice. Now from mile 4 to 5, I couldn't see any runners around me. Talk about a strange, but exhilarating feeling running through the woods at night, with nobody else around. I LOVED it! I was able to hear some great-horned owls off in the distance, tree frogs in certain sections of the trail, and eyes looking at me from the branches (raccoons). I did walk a bit more during this section, just to be sure I was still heading the right direction. Thankfully the trail was well marked with bright pink flags so I didn't get lost.
I would highly recommend this race to anyone near the Kansas City area. First, it's only $8. Second, a great group of people. Third, it's an awesome, challenging course. Fourth, free photos will be posted on the web for us to download. Did I mention that it was only $8!
Speaking of the free pics, they became available as I was typing this so here they are.
I'm, the dude in the yellow shirt in the background.
I was caught as I was slipping in the mud.
Running through the water.
I better stop all this rambling. Thank you for taking the time to read this report. If you haven't ran a trail race yet, I highly recommend it!