My experience with trail races lately has not been great. In December, I tripped and fell four times in a trail 50K, and in January I got hopelessly lost in another trail race. I saw a photo on-line about “napping” on the trail, meaning falling down face first. I worried that I would do that again, or get lost.
So, I’m pleased to report that the Instant Classic Trail Half Marathon was nothing like that. First, the course is so well marked that even I could not possibly get lost. On one sharp turn, a sign admonished runners to turn, noting “NOBODY gets lost at the Instant Classic.” Thank goodness. And I didn’t trip. I have this feeling that the tripping I did in December resulted from fatigue brought on by many-a-Christmas-party plus many-a-year-end-deal. Kind of a lethal combination for the little grey cells.
The trails were beautiful and we had two creek crossings. A trail run isn’t a trail run if you don’t get your feet wet! On one creek crossing, there was a huge log across the stream. I paused, and a couple came behind me and began to use the log to cross the stream. I recalled something my friend Jay once said about creeks: “Cross them like you mean it!” I went splashing through the water, like a big kid. A big smile came across my face, and I headed into the finish.
About 30 seconds after I came through the finish, a man came through. “He’s the winner!” someone announced. Yep. I was running the half, and he had run the full. “I beat you!” I told him. I’m usually half the speed of the winner of trail races, so I do count my 30 second lead as “winning.”
I went home and reclined for just a few minutes. Two hours later, I awoke from my nap. At least it didn’t scar me!