Where to start...why not start at the end?
|Mud. And a very generous goodie bag.|
So, it was muddy. And wet. And steep at places. And very, very slippery at others. There were roots, stones, water puddles and mud. Mud everywhere. There were some short bits where you could actually run. Forest roads and such. But the toughest and longest part was the terrain part. Singletrack mostly.
|At the top of the infamous wall. Yes, I walked.|
I consider it a personal triumph that I not once landed on my butt. I slipped on one occasion, which caused me to wobble, but I regained my balance quite quickly. Others (I assume by the screams that I heard from time to time) weren't so lucky. They probably got more mud to wash off than I did.
Avoiding the mud was a futile pursuit. To do so you would have to not only NOT enter the race, but avoid being anywhere near the race. So after a while I stopped trying to run around the mud pits and run through them. I was already covered in the gooey stuff from the knee down anyway, so why fight it. Release your inner pig.
|One of the shorter easy parts. Looks like a highway by comparison|
My Kayanos helped me to stay on my feet, but, really, a terrain shoe would have been so much better. If this terrain running malarkey is to become a habit, I might have to invest in a pair. Small price to pay in order to experience something so unbelievably fun, so tough, so demanding, so obviously right and good for you.
17,7 km were run at an average of 6:09 min/km, with a couple of sub-5 min/km kilometres, way faster than I had dared dream of. It was a very well organised race, with glad volunteers and a fantastic environment. I liked the fact that there were ”only” 550 participants. Big races tend to shift the focus from what you're actually doing to what you're going to tell your work buddies at the cooler on Monday. They become something to brag about, one item to check off your list, instead of an experience. This was more my style. Local, fun, well organized.
|An hour before the start. It got busier later.|