Big Dog Trail 10k
We left Montgomery to drive to Auburn about 6:30 and arrived around 7:20. I picked up my shirt & bib and got in line for the bathroom. Pam got there while I was waiting. We talked for a while, I put the stuff I didn’t need in the car, and when announced, we walked to the start.
The start was confusing because we lined up in a field beside the finish line. We took off, and I tried to pass as many people as possible who were going slower than I wanted to run because I knew it would be tight once we got to the trails. When we first got to the trails, I tripped and fell but bounced right back up.
The girl in front of me was my rabbit for a while, and when she found a spot to pass someone, I’d pass them, too. I stayed behind her nearly until the first water stop (~ mile 2). She started slowing down, and once there was a wider spot in the trail, she stepped right and told me to go on by. I thanked her and ran on.
At this point I was still feeling pretty good. It was incredibly humid under the trees, so I was sweating profusely, but mostly felt okay. I didn’t take water since I was running with my Camelbak, but by the time I finished, I was wishing I had taken a cup to dump on myself.
The middle third of the race had a lot of switchback turns winding up a hill. I passed a few more people, mostly ones who stopped to walk. I caught up to another group of runners, as mush as a single-file line can be considered a group. Then we emerged from the trees and ran on a gravel road up a loooong hill. All the others stopped to walk, but I kept pushing on. None of them ever caught up. It was rough, but I still felt fine.
At the top of the hill was the next water station (~mi. 4). Once again, I relied on my Camelbak and ran through it. We entered the woods again. Just after I passed the water table, the goosebumps came. I felt okay otherwise, though, so I didn’t slow down any more than my tiredness required. The last 2 miles were really tough. The hills and sharp turns continued. At one point I touched my forehead and noticed that it was salty. I didn’t think about until I finished that that meant that I had stopped sweating.
There was one more hill close to the end, and I caught another lady who walked near the top, but as soon as she crested, she started running again. I just didn’t have enough gas left to catch her. Usually I have a pretty good kick at the end of races, but i just didn’t have anything left.
I admit that I was disappointed in my time at first, but after talking to Pam and thinking over it, you can’t really compare trail running to road running. Since I placed 2nd in my age group, I know I did well considering how tough it was for me. I did have a good time, too, which is what has always been the most important thing to me concerning running.
Afterwards, there was a table where you could get a free water bottle if you signed up for an email list, and my hand was shaking so much I could barely write legibly.
Oh, they gave these cool rock plaques to the top age group winners (but not to 2nd or 3rd). I got a gift card to the running store that put on the race. The next time I’m passing through on my way to Georgia, I’ll have to stop by and use it.