As usual this is one of my fun runs that I really don't care to much about my time and I really don't push for speed. We started out as a we always do in a tight pack spending more time either walking or stopping. Waiting for us to clear the first of many bottle necks always seemed to take forever.
The first plunge into the cold water chilled my feet to the bone, was very thankful that the water was only from a small ditch and was just up to my ankles. Soon I was off and running again, wet squashy feet all the way.
Up through the first set of corn fields and my feet where finally warmed and I had kept up a fairly steady pace. Had to slow down a few times as people started to slow down too.
The first creek was a hard one. Two guys where at the bottom standing on the ice a little before the actually crossings. As he tried to get over a log the entire ice broke apart sending him crashing into waist deep ice cold water. A collective groan could be heard coming from the witness of this even.
Got down to the crossings and was not looking forward to the coldness I knew was coming. A lady on my right had the same look. We took hands and jumped in full force on the count of three. Suddenly we where in a mass of humanity all tried to get up the three ropes to the top. I grabbed the nearest rope, took the lady's shoulder and pushed up in front of me telling her to climb out first.
The next mile or so was all starts and stops as we wove our way up and out of the wooded ravine and back down into another one. The next two crossings were just a cold and bone chilling as the first two. By this time I had given up all hope for having warm feet for the race.
At mile 4.5 the trail split. harder trails to the left and easier trails to the right. Without a second thought or glance I set my pace to the left and was met with a near vertical wall of cold mud for me to attempt to slid down right into another cold creek. The climb up from that one was also vertical and the use of ropes was only slightly helpful. By this time the ropes where covered in mud and almost impossible to grip.
Made it to the top only to go not even a quarter of a mile to the next crossings. This one too was a vertical drop of about six feet into the cold water and another low climb up the other side. Was so happy to get to the top of that one, only one more crossing to go then all corn fields.
The last crossings I just jumped in. My feet and legs up to my knees where wet, cold, and covered in mud. This climb had no ropes but plenty of tree roots to grasp to pull myself up and out.
Cleared the last of the woods to start my last mile of corn fields. Of course we had to go up a steep hill. And after miles of up and down ravines, creeks, rope climbs, and cold feet must of us simply walked up the hill.
Ran down the hill, around a few corners and headed to the finish line. Crossed the mats hearing the reassuring beeps of my time being recorded. And in a cruel twist of fate we had to walk up yet another hill to get to the wonderful warm stew and hot apple cider. Go figure!
What would you do differently?:
Nothing! Yeah I got wet, cold, destroyed my shoes, got bruised up, and was generally miserable for most of the race. But this is one of my favorite because everyone is embracing the course and just having fun and not caring about much else.
Got my wonderful beef stew, bread, and hot apple cider which warmed me up nicely. Met up with my family in time to get my son set up for the kid races, which he totally nailed without much effort!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Nothing, Its always a big race with lots of waiting for the first mile or so.
This race while done off road makes me appreciate the blacktop and gravel that I train on.
Last updated: 2014-11-23 12:00 AM
Living History Farms Cross Country Race
45F / 7C
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Spent the night in the hotel with my family. Was actually able to get to sleep at a decent time which surprised me. In the morning I did my usual routine. Showered, got dressed in my race gear, and got my hair put up. Got the rest of the family up out the door without a problem.
We walked around after packet pickup and enjoyed laughing at the array or customs and get ups that people wore. As usual the giant Wheetes Box was there as well as a few other regulars. Got in the start area 15 min to the start and stretched a bit while we waited.