Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK 5K Trail Mess

On a whim we signed up for the MLK Day Keep Moving Forward 5K and 10K Trail Run sponsored by Metro RunWalk. We had never done any events with them before so we didn't quite know what to expect. The race price was really cheap, and they had cute long sleeve t-shirts with this great slogan on the back “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. We didn't really have anything planned for our Monday off. We needed to get some miles in, and it seemed like a fun thing to do with the kids. The other attraction of this race was that it was in Wakefield Park which is the site of one of the Backyard Burns. We had never run this trail so this was a great low pressure way to check it out. Let's just say that the best part of this race was the t-shirt and the post-race soup and bread. It was around 33 degrees at the start of the run at 9 am so pretty cold, but we were all ready to go. The kids were even excited to get out on the trail and were high energy.
We had a short briefing and were told that 5K runners/walkers should follow the red markings and that there would be plenty of course volunteers to direct us. (Cue ominous music) This was more of a fun run than a race. There were bibs and a race clock, but they weren't going to record any official results so the time was really just for your personal use. A little weird given that we had bibs, but we can roll with that. The boys and I head out on the trail. We were keeping a pretty good pace as the trail is really flat and not very technical, a few rocks and roots, but nothing to speak of. We hit a small stream crossing at which point ZMan took off and was keeping a good pace ahead of Nickel and I.
I wasn't too worried about losing him as he is really good with following course markings and asking for directions when needed. Little did I know that the course volunteers had no clue about directions. About 1.3 miles in we hit a water stop which we didn't need because it was so cold.
We were directed up a trail that only had orange markings, but no red markings. This seemed weird, but I'll believe the course volunteer. We went up a decent size hill. Nickel ran about half of this hill which was awesome. I could see ZMan ahead running the whole hill.
Then we headed in to some sort of lollipop section which was where all hell broke loose. The course volunteers had no clue where the 5K and 10K runners were supposed to separate. The course markings were a mess. Nickel and I were on the 10K course for a bit. ZMan was off on the 10K course as well, but he got even further astray. Nickel and I found our way back to head back towards the start. ZMan had apparently stopped to ask for directions several times and none of the course volunteers knew where to tell him to go. Fortunately, Cub Scout training kicked in, and he kept moving and asking for directions and following other runners. I wasn't that worried about him because he could have finished 10K if he had to. At some point JD found him and saw Nickel and I running on a parallel trail. We all joined up and ran back to the finish together. Nickel and I did about 3.5 miles. I'm pretty sure that ZMan easily did 4 miles. He has been wanting to do the Mother's Day 4 Miler with me so I guess this proves that he is ready. Back at the finish line, there was really good bread, chicken tortilla soup, vegetable soup, granola bars, oranges, cheese sticks, and applesauce. The soup and bread were awesome and hit the spot after a cold run. Once we got over the irritation of the mess on the course, we realized that it was a pretty good time. Hopefully this group will get their act together for another event because they look to have an interesting schedule of some other trail runs that might be fun to try out.

No comments:

Post a Comment