Thursday, April 3, 2014

Shepaug Run Raiser 10k Race Recap

Early last week someone posted on the Running for Rescues Facebook group that they had a free entry to a trail run in southern Connecticut. Well me being the freebie lover I am, I jumped at the chance. I had these amazing visions of truly becoming Pocahontas....jumping through the forest effortlessly with woodland creatures following me singing....(mayyyyybe John Smith too, a girl can dream)

Unfortunately the outcome was more like this....

It is very rare I am ever out of my element. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After transferring the registration to my name and emailing one of the RD's I had to look at the website to gain all the information necessary for the day. The 10k was going to start at 9am but bib pick up began at 6.30am. Now I knew there was no way I was going to get there for 6.30am to get my bib and sit around for hours. I left my house around 7.15am and arrived around 8.30am which was perfect for me. I was already dressed and ready.

I had decided to wear crappy shoes thanks to some great advice from all of you the night before. I also knew I couldn't handle being cold and wet if it did rain so I wore my L.L.Bean rain jacket (it had zipper pockets-score!). I had found a great Nike water bottle at Dicks Sporting Goods the night before for only $8. It had been molded for you to hold on to it too. Normally I never carry any water BUT they made it very clear there would be no water/aide stations on the 10k course and I didn't want to risk it. I also wore my BRAND NEW CW-X tights...Ya know the ones that cost $140+...yeah well this princess scored them for $10 on!!! Thank you to my best running friend Kristy for giving me the heads up on that AMAZING sale. Unfortunately they are a little too tall for my short body but hey, there are worse things in this world. So I was completely set to run.

I was nervous I wouldn't be able to find the start line but luckily the address was perfect in my GPS and there was a sign directing me the right way.

Although I had spoken with someone prior to showing up today they had no put me on the list of runners and I had to give the name of the awesome lady who transferred her registration (THANK YOU AGAIN!!) 

After I was given my bib I recieved a swag bag from The Olive Oil Factory. I personally love this company after tasting their delicious options at the Connecticut Wine Festival in Goshen, CT. Who am I to judge!?

I also was given these sick NYARA socks that I cannot wait to wear!

In The Olive Oil Factory swag bag was a full size bottle of Balsamic Glaze (seriously my favorite)...

An extra large shirt and a bumper stick. Very very impressive.

The whole thing was very informal which was less intimidating but more nerve-wracking. The start was also the finish and instead of a horn or a gun the man in charge rang a cow-bell to signify the start. I was confused to say the least. I sent this picture to Kristy when she asked how things were going...

Although I do not have anything else to compare it to, I LOVE my compression tights. 

The start of the race was absolutely gorgeous and the weather was holding off marvelously

Then after the biggest giant hill I had ever gone down we entered the 7th circle of hell. And no, this is not the one near my house with 3 dogs on the curve of a street trying to attack me and Ace. This was a whole 'nother circle just like it but filled with ice, mud and roots.

After falling into a creek I managed to stick close to two other women who were also doing their first trail run.

When Kristy asked me how it was going....I decided text would not be good enough. I sent her this video.

Then my mother text'd me asking if I was already running...again I figured video would accurately describe the journey I was on.

After what can only be described as the journey through hell I managed to find a group to stay with. There were pricker bushes EVERYWHERE and no matter how I tried I either met them or mud. I truthfully don't even think I am doing this race justice....

I stopped on a mini bridge about 1 mile from the finish, it was near a lake I KNOW had to have been used in a horror movie.

I ended up crossing the finish line at about 1:48 minutes. Not bad considering I felt like I was climbing Mt. Midoriyama (American Ninja Warriors anyone?). I ended up coming in 3rd in my age group which was cool. Didn't get anything for it but I guess that's how it goes. I did however have a couple of cool souvenirs to take home. Puncture wounds ALL OVER my legs, Cuts on my fingers...

Muddy shoes (ps don't leave these in your car for longer than like an hour....let alone 4 days...BAD SMELLS) and a ruined pair of brand new socks...

And a pretty awesome finishers pint glass.

I snagged a chocolate milk even though the snacks were for the 50k and 50 miler runners.

All in all I will say the event was pretty awesome for being so small. That being said I will never, ever, ever participate in another trail run as long as I live. I wish on the website it said "remember that camping trip you took with Girl Scouts...yeah, just as bad as that". I do not like mud, or being wet, or running on mushy ground. The people were fantastic both volunteer and fellow runners. But yeah. Nope. Not for me....

Have you done a trail run before? Ever done a race you would NEVER do again?


  1. I hate trail runs too! My ankles and feet don't like them, and I just feel so unsteady and like I have to go so much slower than my already turtle pace!

    1. I know! I felt like it was more of a hike than a run with all the mud and roots and pricker bushes.

  2. Nice job Meg!! I have done one trail run before... a 5K. My ankles hurt for days afterwards! I seriously commend you doing a 10K trail run! I do admit I kind of want to try one again...but ONLY if I have the right kind of shoes. I seriously think that is a huge part of being able to enjoy the experience. And also making sure that you don't see any snakes. That would suuuuuck!

    Also, American Ninja Warrior FTW. I love that show!

    1. YES! Thank you for getting my reference!!!

      Do you know what kind of shoes are best for trails? I'm not sure I'd try one again regardless, but it'd be nice to know in case I lose my memory about this race and want to try another.

      Congrats on the 5k, this stuff is really hard!

  3. Sounds like an interesting experience...although I'm sure it would have been much more enjoyable had we not been in an eternal winter! I will never do the Neon Run again. Granted it was a "fun run" but it was advertised as a 5K and barely broke 2 miles. It also was at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, so it almost felt like a trail run itself.

    1. It was definitely interesting to say the least! This weather has to get better, it already kind of has thank God.

      That's good to know about the Neon Run, I had looked at it but if it isn't even a 5k, that's a lot of money to shell out of 2 miles.

  4. Ha Ha! I really want to do a trail run, because I love mud and rocks and nature. But, I had a pretty rough muddy cross country run last fall and it will take some time for me to forget just how HARD it is to slog through wet and uneven ground. Better in theory than in reality! Congrats on the 3rd place finish!!!

    1. What?! You're one crazy woman to love mud and rocks. Nature is okay but in small doses.

      I completely agree with you, better in theory definitely!

      Thank you :)