A few weeks ago we headed off to run the Mile Run Trail Race in Tiadaghton State Park. This is my first time running this race and I was looking forward to it because the Dam Half (put on by race director Joel) is my favorite trail race. I was also pleasantly surprised at the 10 am start time. I am not much of a morning person (boy is that an understatement) so I enjoyed being able to sleep in a bit. Because it is still early in the season, the field at Mile Run was fairly small so packet pickup was super quick.
Just before ten we headed up to the start line for announcements. The race course still had a bit of ice on it and the ticks were bad. I joked with the people beside me that if we were far enough back then all the fast runners would pick up the ticks. They didn’t seem particularly amused and I took this as my cue to move a bit further back in the pack and find fellow not so fast runners. At 10 am we were off and up Mile Run Road to get to the trail head. I took this time to figure out my pace and fall in with the right group before we hit the inevitable conga line on trail.
Sure enough, right when we hit single track the conga line formed and we were at a complete walk as people tip toed their way across the first stream crossing and once we were through that obstacle the pace picked up and we headed up a long section of rocky uphill. At this point I fell into a comfortable pace with a good group and I tried to keep pace with them. I made it through the first set of hills and up to the first aid station at mile three without stopping to walk except in a particularly unfriendly rock garden (a miracle for me). I was excited not to have to walk, but running those hills would come back to bite me later on. Continue reading