My mind comes up with weird blog titles.
Anyway, my discovery zone was at the New River Gorge in Minden, West Virgina for the ACE New River Gorge-ous Trail Run & Walk where I discovered, in a short period of time, that I am not a trail runner.
|(though I was still able to do this at the end of the race...guess I was glad it was over!)|
Thought process prior to the run: I like running. I like hiking. I'll like trail running!
Thought process during the run:
Mile 1: Okay, I'm not prepared for this.
Mile 2: Thank God I wore my trail runners. (Stability was a big concern.)
Mile 3: I think I'll just do the 8 mile loop. Is that giving up?
Mile 4: We are definitely stopping for pizza on the way home.
Mile 5: I am only going to walk up the hills, but I'm going to walk up every one of them.
Mile 6: I'm doing the 8 mile loop. This is ridiculous.
Mile 7: Okay, I guess I'm doing the whole thing. At least I'll run fast when running so this thing will be over quickly enough....maybe I can finish in 2:15?
Mile 8: At least I'll keep moving forward. I'll finish in 2:30. Just keep that girl in the blue shirt in sight.
Mile 9: Where is everybody? Oh yeah, they all passed me a long time ago.
Mile 10: Water stop and 3 miles left. This is not so bad. If I get back in 2:30, we'll have plenty of time for burritos before we go get pizza.
Mile 11: I *#$! hate these rocks (Okay, I swore a lot on this mile...but if you swear in the woods and there is no one around to hear it, does it make an offensive sound?)
Mile 12: I can't believe I went the wrong way. I'll have to go back down that hill to look for the arrows. (minutes later): I can't believe that wasn't the wrong way. I'll have to go back UP that *&#$! hill. (offended birds and squirrels cover their ears)
Mile 13: Praise the Lord. Time for burritos and pizza.
|One rough-looking but happy girl|
Yes, I had a burrito and about half a pizza. I'm not ashamed. The burritos were free after the race and they were delicious. The pizza was on the way home (see pic above) and also delicious.
Other positives about the race: a pre-race bonfire, hot chocolate, and cocoa to keep people warm; beautiful fall colors; well-marked course (except for that one rogue arrow on Mile 12)
So listen, if you like trail races, or want a challenge, check this one out.
But if you are planning on doing the 13.2 course (yup, just a little longer than a half marathon), do NOT listen to the course description online. Here's an excerpt:
"All of the courses wander through deep hard wood forests and offer spectacular views of the river and the historic town of Thurmond 1,000 feet below. So whether you come for some great competition or a leisurely jog or stroll, you'll enjoy every step of your trek over some of the most scenic paths in the state."
(italics added by me to emphasize how pleasant and do-able this race sounds)
I'm sure the shorter races were not as bad. But I am also sure they could not be done leisurely.
Granted, you may love this race. I'm sure lots of people did. Just know what you are getting into.
I did not like that I had to spend most of the race looking down to fight for stability, but was in awe of the view when I forced myself to stop and take in the vistas. I was happy to complete the race, and what I had wanted from West Virginia was a beautiful course and a big challenge. This was certainly both.
|view from visitor's center|
|another view from visitor's center|
|Bonus: we gained entry into the secret sandwich society (at least in our minds)|
Oh yeah, and donate here!