Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dances With Dirt Trail Relay

This last Saturday, husband & I headed about an hour south of Indy to a small town called Gnawbone for an extreme 55 mile trail relay called Dances With Dirt.  We had a team of 5 called the Trailing Turtles.  I did this same race two years ago and it has been one of my favorites ever since. 

Team consisted of my husband, myself, my two female cousins & one of their boyfriends.    Cousins have both participated in this particular race as well. Husband is new to the racing scene and even more so to the trail runs. Cousin's boyfriend on the other hand, has very few miles under his belt if not zero, zilch and/or none, let alone extreme trail racing experience.  

My first pair of shoes encased in mud.  Nice view
while waiting for my husband to finish his first leg.
The morning started out a tad chilly. Of course, my tendency to overdress got me on my first leg.  It was overcast, cold & the chance for rain was there so I headed out into the woods for an 5 and half mile run with a jacket.  I ran into the woods and came upon my first hill right away.  Just say, I warmed up fast and quickly regretted the jacket.  I tied it around my waist right before I hit the 2-3 miles of pure mud.  Running and keeping your shoes attached to your feet was nearly next to impossible.  

After coming out of the nonstop and very thick mud, I came to a very long and steep fast downhill.  I enjoyed the quick descent but quickly paid for it by having to make the climb back up as steeply as I went down.  

My second leg, an approximate 5 miles and leg seven of the entire 15 legs was lacking the excitement of the previous' mud, and seemed to be a long, non-technical, easy trail for a considerable amount of time.  I made this comment out loud to a fellow runner, only to be quickly contradicted just a few minutes later by the overgrown path with heavily laden thorns, branches, & other debris that made running next to impossible.  There was no longer an obvious path or any path for that matter to follow.  At this point it was up to you to find the flags placed by the race crew behind the brush and thorns to ensure you eventually made it out of the woods.  

You can see just a few of the scratches I endured
coming out of the second leg.  Second pair of shoes
not so muddy this leg. 

Don't let the shorter distance of my last leg, 3.1 miles deceive you.  What it lacked in distance, they made up with extreme uphills & the never ending stairs. Seriously, who decided it would be a good idea to build three million steps out in the middle of the woods? Regardless of who's idea it was, someone else thought it was a fabulous idea to add it to our race route. Oh yeaaa! Note sarcasm.  I was sure to have buns of steel when I finished, but no such luck.  

Just came out of the woods of my 3rd & final leg. 

This year's "bone" medal was not as impressive as 2011's large skull & bone medal.  Oh well. It was a fun race with fun people and my 3rd medal in a week's time span. What more could a girl ask for? 

I do have one complaint that seriously irked me and the rest of my team and most likely other runners.  Part of the event included a BBQ dinner with registration.  We headed over to grab a plate at about 6 p.m., one hour before the food & race cut off time was noted. The food was scarce.  They were out of buns for the BBQ pulled pork and the rest of the sides were scarce.  At 6:15, they were out of food.  Runners who had been running all day long came up to the tables to be told they were out of food before the 7:00 cut off.  My team agreed that was inexcusable and poor event management.  

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