Saturday morning was the Cold Feet 10k, a local trail race through the Greenbelt on Staten Island. Even though I’ve lived on Staten Island a good part of my life, I always seem to forget how expansive the trail network is here – there’s over 2800 acres of trails, parks, and natural areas. It’s amazing!
It was the first trail race I’ve done since this 25k last year and only the second time I’ve been on the trails in over a year. For a long time, I was only focused on big(ger) races – mostly those organized by NYRR. I don’t really know why I was shying away from smaller races for so long – the last two I have run have been smaller (with under 200 runners) and I have LOVED them.
I woke up to huge snowflakes falling outside. Not exactly the weather conditions I was hoping for…but snow is 100x better than freezing rain. With a 10am start time and the race only being about 15 minutes away, I was able to stay home until 9:15! No early wakeups or leaving in the dark. Score.
I’m still exclusively breastfeeding my youngest so I pumped as soon as I got up in the AM and then nursed one last time before I left to ensure I could comfortably be gone for a few hours (oh the joys of motherhood! =) ). The race began at the Latourette Golf Course Clubhouse so I was able to stay warm inside until about 15 min before the race started. Another Score. There was plenty of volunteers handing out race bibs, long-sleeved t-shirts, and our race swag – a box of Ferrero Rochers. Score #3.
It was just so refreshing to not deal with long lines, parking issues, huge crowds (The thought of the NYC Half in a month is already giving me the shakes…).
I did a mile or so warm-up to stay warm and get my legs loose. Thankfully, it wasn’t terribly cold out – upper 20s – which was nothing compared to the last 10k I did. And it had stopped snowing. But for some reason I was freezing - maybe it’s because I haven’t run outside in three weeks :/
The race started right at 10am. I knew the trails were going to be a bit wet and muddy from talking to the SIAC president (Mark) during our quick warmup. Almost ALL of the snow that we had gotten last weekend (over 12″) had melted over the previous few days resulting in a super wet, sloshy (is that a word?) course. But I was not fully prepared for what greeted me about a half mile in:
A good portion of the course looked like this picture. Thick, deep, slippery mud. There were also some pretty cold water crossings which resulted in my feet being frozen most of the run. By the time we were finished my shoes, legs, and pants were 100% covered in mud…which, in my opinion, is exactly how you should look after a trail race =)
Somehow my shoes look clean in this picture:
The course was awesome. It had a good mix of flat straightaways, steep uphills, and big downhills. It was extremely well-marked with yellow tags on the trees and an occasional arrow pointing us in the right direction. Despite not seeing the runner ahead of me for parts of the race, I never missed a turn (which always seems to happen to me during trail races).
There were a TON of volunteers along the course – ensuring we were following the right course, giving us helpful pointers for the next stretch of trails (rocky, slippery, etc), taking a lot of awesome pictures, and cheering for us. And even though it was a small, local, short trail race, there was an awesome table of water, gatorade products, and fuel options just past mile 3. It was one of the best and most fun races I’ve done in a long time.
I don’t have exact splits from the run on Saturday. There were a few points where my Garmin went in and out due to poor satellite reception. Some points I was moving pretty fast (1st mile: 7:14…last .8 miles: 6:37)…other parts I was barely breaking 10. Within about 1/4 mile of the start, I took the lead for females and maintained it the rest of the way.
I finished in 49:01 (7:54 pace) – good enough for first female and 12th overall! The first two finishers were the fastest finishers the course has ever had! 6:19 pace for a pretty tough trail 10k is amazing!
First place male and female won a year’s membership to the GreenBelt Conservatory (Staten Island foundation), a snazzy trophy, and a set of running clothes from Patagonia. Score. Score. Especially since the entry fee was only $30!
I was SO glad that I finally got to meet my friend, Jen. We’ve been texting, msging, tweeting, etc for months now and despite both living on Staten Island had yet to nail down a day to meet up! She kicked butt Saturday!! And yes, I am in Saucony – head to toe =)
*Note: Photos of the trails and of me running are courtesy of King of the Mountain Events FB page*
Did you race this weekend?? How did it go?
Ever run a trail race? Did you look as muddy as I did?