Sunday, July 7, 2013

Race Recap 'Merica! 5M

Beers! Brats! Mullets! 'Merica!  That's about all I needed to hear to sign up for this race that was all about the American dream.  This was to be my 3rd Muddy Monk event and the 2nd one that Chris has joined me for.  I got him hooked at Double Down.  We left the city at 8:30 AM and after getting slightly lost, made it to the race site with about 25 minutes to spare.  We wandered around and took in the fantastic scenery and 'Merica themed costumes - think jean shorts, mullets, mustaches, and American flag everything.  I ran into my friend Allison who I used to be in a skeeball league with, yes skeeball league, its a real thing.  She was running her first race so I wished her luck and assured her it wouldn't be her demise. 




Red, white, and 'Merica!

Soon we were lining up and after Art's brother in law chugged a beer we were off to the races... until we reached the trail and there was a brief bottleneck and traffic jam.  Most of the trail was single track and a lot more technical than my previous Muddy Monk races.  I used the short stints on the gravel paths to my advantage to get around other runners, using my speed to my advantage, and then catching my breath once back on the wooded trails and everyone slowed down.  This worked well for the most part, but some of those trails had some pretty nasty climbs.  There were 2 short creek jumps, both followed by climbs that would of been near impossible if not for the tree roots to use for grip.  I just wasn't ready to keep up pace as we don't normally face these conditions in the city.  Combined with the heat, I eventually started to wear out and slow down a bit.  Chris caught up to me after the water station at the halfway mark and ran with me the rest of the way.  He even stopped when I had to stop to tie my shoe.  He let me run in front, probably to figure out where he needed to go by letting me test the waters.  I did nearly bite it once.  My shoe got full on root and I was going down hard and fast into more roots.  Somehow I got my leg back under me and recovered.
Jumping the creek

Chris on my tail

So I'm a little bit of a stinker and just full out took off when we hit the clearing and I knew the finish line was near.  I was flying past other runners who had passed me on the last little bit of the trail and thought I had left Chris behind even though he kept with me for the last half of the race.  Every man for himself at the finish line right?  I get to the finish line and turn left and Chris was right there.  He had kept up with me!  Chris had started catching up to me last year before knee issues sidelined him.  It looks like he may start to catch up again now that he's back to training regularly.  Nothing better than a friend to push you along in training.  Once Muddy Monk posted the pictures I went through and found mine and noticed that yes, we did indeed have a photo finish.

I'm running and Chris looks like he's on the catwalk
Overall it was a great race and a great day in spite of the rising temperatures.  We didn't stick around long enough for the BBQ because I had to get back to the city to meet relatives and head to the Cubs game.  Baseball is all American too right?  I'll get to return to this same trail for a bit of redemption next month for the Nearly Sane Trail Half.  Something tells me I should work on the hills in the meantime.

7 comments:

  1. Good to hear that you thought it was technical as i thought it was definitely challenging which i really enjoyed the change up. Wish we would met up.. will need to next time!

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    1. Definitely need to meet up next time!

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  2. Careful! Chris is going to gun for you soon and edge by! better up that training! looks like a fun race!

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    1. Eh, not worried about Chris catching me yet. Trail runs are a blast... speed training in disguise.

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  3. Good luck at Nearly Sane...you're way tougher than I am. I'm with Nic that this race was crazypants harder than I thought it was going to be. Oh and you're recap is missing the part where you ran into a local celebrity and one of "Chicago's Very Own" and she turned out to be a total creep :)

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    1. Not a creep at all! I might start to dread Nearly Sane since its going to cover some of the same trails. At least I know what's coming this time around. I figure it will be good strength and speed work for my marathon training.

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