Jon had said that almost every runner he knew was going to be at this race. He seemed to be right! The last I heard there were about three hundred runners. Once we arrived I met more new people -- Heather and Doug. Doug wasn't going to be running because of an injury, so he agreed to take some photos of the group.
|Kristy, Maria, Penny, Me, Rachel, Erin, Jon, Heather, Rick|
The race started and ended at the Minnesota State University Moorhead science center which is right next to Buffalo River State Park. Most of the trails meandered through tall prairie grasses and wildflowers. The wooded sections were shorter, but even a little bit of shade felt wonderful.
|Heading back into the woods|
|The line of runners ahead of us|
|Planks across one of the muddy sections|
While most of the trails were dry, there were a few muddy sections. There were planks across the worst of them, but I was a little concerned that the boards would be slippery. I stayed off of the planks at the first "mud hole" but used them at the remaining muddy sections (I know, I know. It's a trail race. You're supposed to get dirty! Next time I'll run the mud, I promise). This part of Minnesota has a little more roll to the terrain, but much of the course was pretty easy running. The race director had us running up a couple of hills right at the end. Of course you put the hills at the end. Now usually when you run up a hill you can look forward to the corresponding downhill. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been there, but I swear to God that these hills were just uphill! There was no noticeble downhill on the other side!
Rick, Jon, Penny, Heather, and Rachel finished ahead of us and were cheering for us at the finish. Rachel placed second in the women's division while running the thing barefoot (notice she is sans shoes in the group photo). Kristy, Erin, and I crossed the finish line together in 1:11 and some change. Maria came in shortly afterward and kept saying how much fun she had. It really was a fantastic race and a great way to start a beautiful weekend.
The organizers did an amazing job of putting together their first race. The course was well marked. They had volunteers keeping us on course and handing out water at the aid stations. The Red River Radio Amateurs were spread out along the course and could radio for help in case of any emergencies. All-in-all it was a great race, and everyone plans on running it again next year.