On Saturday, I competed in the Grant Park Trail Race. Here is my little recap about my experience! This was one of the races put on by the Ohio River Road Runners Club. Since I am a member, it cost me nothing; super nice! Seriously, if you live in this area and like to do lower key races, I strongly recommend this club! This was my 4th ORRRC race, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every one of them!
This race was supposed to be an 8 mile trail race, but due to snow and ice, they cut it down to approximately 6 miles to eliminate some hazardous river crossings. I was bummed at first because I was hoping for something longer than 6 miles, but once we got going, I realized it was SUPER tiring running in the snow, and I was very glad I didn’t have to run more than 6 miles in it!!
It was a very cold day here, but the race was scheduled at 1pm, so by the time it started, it was about 9 degrees, windy, but sunny. I bundled up really well, and put Vaseline on my face to prevent wind burn.
I started the race in the front of the pack! The trail was very narrow, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t have to worry about getting stuck behind someone or have to rudely pass a bunch of people right away. As we made our way to the narrow trail, about 5 guys passed me, and I quickly settled in to 9th place. The course was mostly a loop, with a small section of out-and-back. They called it a “lolly pop”. On the way out, there was a large river crossing that was completely frozen over. I was thankful they had a race marshal there because otherwise, I wouldn’t of even noticed the ice before stepping on it! I had to slow to a crawl, to cross it, as did the group behind me.
Just before we reached half-way, a guy passed me, and I remained in 10th place. I knew I was the 1st female, and I just wanted to maintain in the top 15 overall. When we reached half-way, there was an aid station, which the two men in front of me stopped at. I kept going, which put me in 8th. That didn’t last long though because two men passed me pretty quickly thereafter.
We got to the out-and-back section, which was a little cramped because we had to cross a lot of people going out, however, it was kind of fun to see other people and cheer them on! At this point, I was dying from running in the snow too! My hip flexors were both very tight, and my ankles were getting fatigued from rolling in the snow (which of course made me roll them even more!). However, I made it to the finish line, proudly holding my 10th place overall and 1st place female! I crossed the line, just happy to be finished! I got a cool plaque too as my award!
I love being able to race in the winter, but man…..snow running is tiring! Hoping my next race will be free of precipitation. The trails were in really good condition though, and the race was managed excellently! Overall, I loved the experience, AND I got to meet some new people!
Do you like running in the cold weather? How about the snow? How do you cope?