In June, I had planned to run the Grizzly 5k in Gastonia. Well, for some reason, the race was canceled. Since the race was part of the YMCA Series, they offer me a few other options. This Trick or Trail 5k was one of these options. I hadn’t thought much more about it until an email arrived on Thursday before the race.
Since I was already signed up, I decided why not run it.
This turned out to be one of the more unusual races that I have ever run. I am 5th in line as we enter the trail section about 30 yards behind the leaders. Then, it is as if they put on the brakes. They seem tentative on the trail. They are attempting to run 2 a breast on a trail where it doesn’t quite fit. We all closed up in to a tight bunch. This is when I say something about “let’s get single file”. I cannot go anywhere like this.
Then, this one guy sprints ahead. But then, he slows down. We catch up. On the next hill, he sprints up it. And, the next, and the next. On the flats and downhills, we close the distance, but with the numerous switch backs, it is hard to find a rhythm.
I maneuver my way in to 2nd place. We pass by a couple of water stops, and the two mile point. I am coming up on the 3rd water stop where I see the leader standing there sipping a cup of water. I have no idea what he is doing and keep running. I found out later from the people working the water stop that he thought it was the finish. No idea what made him think that this was the case.
I am pressing up the next climb when I hear heavy breathing and footsteps pounding the ground. He passes by me but this time, I stay close behind. We pop out from the trail to an open area, but there is no clear indication of which way to go. Out of the corner my eye, I see some volunteers waving us around. I am back in the lead, but barely as he is hot on my tail. This time we pop out of the woods, and the finish line is nearly in sight. I know what’s coming, and with maybe 30 yards to go he flashes by me. My legs are heavy from running 50 miles the weekend before. They are in on condition for sprinting. I settle for 2nd overall in 21:53.
The rain arrives, so they move us into the Y’s boat house where the food is now being served and the awards announced. But their speaker are setup for outdoors and not indoors so I cannot hear much of what they are saying.
They did an okay job with the race. I liked their little trail course, but there wasn’t enough to draw me back next year.
Running a 5k did feel good. The race was over so fast. I did a second run over the course just to feel like I got in some running.
Next up, I am running the “Shot in the Dark” 10k, and I thinking about another race later in November
The Cool Down Runner