|Race swag included a shirt, bottle of champagne to all finishers, and I won a raffle!!!|
Two weeks after I had one of the worst racing experiences of my life, I came back determined to run better at Charlie's Old Goat Trail Run. The website presents the race this way:
"The challenging course will take you through rolling open meadows, into wooded single track, up and down a few hills, and across a creek or two. All proceeds go to Ganondagan, [an art and cultural center of the Seneca Native American community], to help them maintain their picturesque trails that are free to the public all year long."
I had inquired about the race at one of the trailsroc.org runs and found out that instead of it being a 7 mile trail run, it was rumored to be closer to 6 miles. [At the end, my GPS watch had it at 6.04 miles.] The day before, desiring not to repeat my disaster at the the Ontario Summit Trail Races, I flooded my body almost to the point of nausea. Probably not a good strategy you'd think, but maybe I was dehydrated, because all the extra water and Tailwind seemed to do the trick. I paired that with a good mental attitude and lots of prayer...and had probably the best racing experience of 2016 thus far. While I only came in 87th out of 117 finishers, I truly enjoyed this race. I am getting to the point in my racing/running career, where while every new race/trail is unique, they also remind me of others I have run. This one reminded me of races I'd run in Iowa, Minnesota, and Montana, while definitely being a local Western New York State race all it's own. It had everything in the description noted above and the hills were no slouch. I hiked some of the ups and flew down the descents as best I could. There really was a great variety of terrain.
And hey, how many races does the RD, (Yeah, Charlie), hand you a bottle of champagne? Afterwards I headed down to the post-race refreshments and found out I'd won a $10 gift certificate to a local sporting goods store. Then I partook of gazpacho, brownies, pizza, and other goodies while talking to a young man who happened to be the overall winner. As I ate and drank my champagne, he told me about his race. While he was a collegiate runner, including cross country, he had never really run a trail race. Well, he did a fine job that day, winning in 39:15 by 42 seconds. Then an older couple joined us, and we all talked about our races. The wife and I had passed each other a few times during the main climb. She told us about her triathlon experiences. Quite an active lady at her age, I hope I can match her as I get older!!!
All in all, I was better prepared, had a positive attitude, and trusted it all to God with the result being a great morning out on the trails. Cheers!!!