I ran a marathon this past weekend. A trail marathon at that. Yep. I ran a secret marathon…well, it actually wasn’t really a big secret. Plenty of my friends and family knew I was running but I did not announce it on the blog. Why, you ask? Well to be honest, I felt a bit silly making a big deal out of this race. I just wanted to run a marathon while I was still trained for one (and while I was NOT fighting a stomach flu). I needed to cross a marathon finish line for me if that makes any sense. My BRF, Mar, found the Queen City Marathon and sent me a link. She then immediately sent me another message that said “oh never mind, it’s a trail race.” Somehow that didn’t deter me and I signed up!
I somehow neglected to understand what this sentence describing the course would mean: “There will be approximately 1100 feet of gradual elevation gain over the next ten miles on the passage.” Yeah, it means that the race looked like this:
Whew. This was no Shamrock (which is flat as a pancake). Between the trail (mostly gravel with some rocks / etc.) and the elevation between miles 6-16, this was a really tough course. Definitely the toughest course I’ve ever run. However, the race was fantastic despite it challenging me to my limit. The course was gorgeous, with beautiful views high up in the mountains. The runners were amazingly friendly and supportive and the volunteers were great. For a small race (less than 200 runners) in its first year, I was very impressed with the organization.
It was a beast…but I’m so proud of myself for finishing my first trail marathon. I have a new found respect for trail runners — that was really tough! And you can tell from my before and after pic…
Oh, and in case you’re wondering my time was 5:33. Slower than my first marathon, but I knew that was going to be the case with a trail marathon with 10 miles uphill. I’m proud of myself and so happy that I officially finished my second marathon!
Have you ever run a trail race?