This past July, about 10 days before defending my PhD, I ran my first trail race ever! There were moments when I thought it had been dumb of me to schedule a race so close to my defense, cause of course we have to include the training. However, this forced me to take breaks from crazy dissertating. So in the end, it was actually pretty great! Not just cause of the breaks but also cause I loved trail racing. I'm so bummed I didn't get into it earlier while I lived in PA cause I don't have as many places where to go do it here in TX, but at least I got this experience.
This race is part of the Hyner race series, and so it takes place in Hyner, PA and it's not an easy race for sure. The race didn't start till 10 am, which means that by that time it was hot and humid. It was 3 miles uphill... about 1400 ft gain O_O and then about 3.7 mile downhill back to the starting point. I got stung three times by wasps on the first mile, so I had to put up with the pain for the rest of the race cause that thing HURT! Just to have an idea about how tough this race was for me, Mile 2 took me about 30 minutes to complete, however, once I hit the downhill it was all flying time! My overall pace was about 18 min so that gives an idea of how much I picked up on the downhill. Downhill was single track, and there were parts where if you tripped, you died lol. It was WONDERFUL! The adrenaline, the views, the challenge! Also, I twisted my ankle (as usual) on mile 5.7 but decided to just push through... Finished in a little under 2:10 hours which was great. I didn't go in with any time in mind since this was my first trail race and I really wasn't sure what to expect.
At the end of the race, there was food, and drinks and just overall a great atmosphere of camaraderie and chillness... if that's a word. I loved it, and if I could I would definitely do it again. It was enough to get the trail racing bug... hopefully I can find some places here in TX where to keep at it. Though I doubt I'll have the elevations I had access to in PA. Happy running!