Equinox Trail 10k Race Report
Sunday was a first for us: we ran our first trail 10k, the Equinox Trail Race. It is odd that until now all of our 10ks have been on the road, but hopefully this will be the first of many more to come. We really do like the 10k distance, and running in on a trail is even more fun (and even more challenging).
The day started out looking overcast and chilly when we set from Erin and Chuck’s place in Westford (our always night before layover spot). By the time we got to the race location the sun was out and the temp had warmed up to the mid 60’s. It felt down right warm out! The course, however, was down right soggy from the deluge the day before. The course began along grass paths and then entered the woods—snaking back and forth between open, grassy areas and thick woods. Regardless of where we were there were giant mud puddles, and the ascents/descents were slick with wet mud that made foot a bit treacherous at times.
At times it felt more like a fun mud run rather than a 10k. The course was actually 2 loops (while the 5k race did just one). While this did allow for some strategy—you could determine when to push to pace, when to hold off, and where to recover—it was still 2 loops: so you had to run the same challenging sections twice. Thankfully the course, while being pretty challenging, was basically flat (which was a big change from the Dirty 5k we just ran.)
We both had lots of fun and ran really well. I finished in 46:22 and Katie finished in 1:04:36. I said that there was treacherous footing—when there’s mud, no amount of lugs will stop you from slipping and sliding—but I had it worse because my VFF Bikilas have NO tread on them. Katie, however, inducted her new Spyridons into the family of trail shoes. While I slide over the wooden bridges and had to over-grip with my toes Katie basically had solid footing and heavy tread. Solid proof that the Spyridons are the perfect addition for the minimalist trail runner.
(There is a slideshow of the race here. I was having trouble viewing it, but maybe it will work for others.)
One thing any runner will love—and I have learned that trail runners love this especially—is free food and free beer post-race. So after the run we walked over (right next to the finished area) to the house of the host and had a massive BBQ with burgers (veggie) and beer; we also brought some salads from a local co-op. We hung out on the porch, soaked in the rays, and enjoyed a relaxing meal. (I think Katie was smart in opting for a Labbatt Blue Light. I tried a Long Trail IPA, which I love, but it was too heavy for a post run libation. She was right that the lighter, more easy drinking beers are sometimes the ones you want right after a run. Save the nicer stuff for later on:))
We had a really great time at this run. The weather lined-up for us; the course was challenging and fun; we got muddy; we drank a few brews—all in all a great day. I hope that all of you can run races that bring you joy and happiness. Regardless of your time or your place, the important thing is to have fun and enjoy some good company—we wish that for all of you.