I took Friday off work and after a short run and a shower I loaded up the car and drove towards the land of cheese curds and beer. About half way there I realized that I had forgotten my watch. I wasn't going to be stuck in the woods not knowing how much further I had to go so I did some quick research while stopped for lunch. I decided that I'd just upgrade to a newer model watch and oh look, there's a Fleet Feet in Madison practically on the way. The Fleet Feet in Madison was tiny, but they had the watch I wanted and I made it to the resort and checked in followed by picking up my race packet and then going to the outlet shops near the Wisconsin Dells.
The race itself only offered up a shirt and a bib with tickets for food and beer post race. The beer sponsor, Bell's, provided all sorts of stickers, pins, and sunglasses, etc. for the runner's to take as much as they wanted of. I kind of liked it this way since you didn't want up with any unwanted or un-needed swag.
|The opening field looks innocent enough|
|Then the hills started. Notice the lean.|
|Some hills you couldn't run if you wanted|
|Even the non-hilly spots were tough to run|
|But it was pretty|
|And the rolling terrain sections were fun|
|The view made the climb worth it|
|It was so nice I didn't even ruin the shot|
|But it still felt great to reach the finish|
|This was a medal earned with sweat and sore muscles|
It's pretty hard to put into words everything I experienced during the race. Trail running is just so different from road races and can feel more rewarding at times even though you are basically forced to run slower or even walk. I had a mile that lasted over 17 minutes. On the flip side my fastest miles were at the end of the race flying downhill, and yes I was really flying when I felt like I could navigate without tripping and breaking my face.
|Can't forget the post race beer|
|One of the top 50 milers chugging a beer brought by his GF before his final loop on the ski hills|
These are far slower times that you would see from the winners of road races for sure.