Today I ran my very first trail race, the Tyler Trail 10k. Needless to say, after today, I'm officially hooked on trail racing.
The race was held at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania. Janine and I arrived early to pick up our race bibs, and got some nice swag as well. In lieu of another boring race shirt, we received embroidered winter hats and small plants.
Me & Janine, pre-race
After waiting in the car to escape the chilly 30 degree temps, we headed over to the starting line with about 400 other runners. I had no expectations or pressure to beat a certain time, so I was excited and a bit nervous at the same time. I did not wear my Garmin, and actually felt pretty great about not knowing my pace the whole time.
We started towards the back of the pack, and started off slow with the crowd. After about half a mile, I picked up the pace and began passing people on the left. The course crossed a small creek around the first mile marker. I ended up dunking one foot in the water to keep up my pace, but managed to keep one foot dry.
Crossing the creek
The course was definitely hillier than I expected, but I managed to run almost all the hills, minus a few crowded power hikes earlier on. I ended up passing a decent amount of runners on the hills, which boosted my confidence and my speed. At around the 3 mile mark, one of the volunteers called out "29th woman" as I passed him. So then I started running even faster.
Trekking up one of the hills
I appreciated the water stations, which were placed at miles 2 and 4. Miles 4 and 5 were pretty tough, as my lungs and quads started feeling the effects of the hills. There were three more small creek crossings along the route, but I managed to stay dry by hopping across rocks.
Grabbing water at mile 4
The last mile was quite hilly, but I still managed to keep up a pace that was uncomfortably quick. I picked off several women towards the end, which gave me more fuel to sprint towards the finish.
After 6.2 hilly, exhilarating miles, I ended up crossing the finish line somewhere around 54 minutes (I didn't see my actual time and the results aren't posted online yet.) I was surprised that I finished only about a minute behind my road 10k PR of 53 minutes, but even more surprised that I finished 4th in my age group and 18th woman overall.
Checking out the results board
I couldn't be happier with the way I ran today. I was a bit disappointed that I just missed getting an age group award by one place, but ultimately, I exceeded all of my expectations. It was amazing to have Janine there as well, running her first race ever!
Post-race happy faces!
After the race, we hit up the Riddle Ale House for some bloody marys and buffalo wings. It was the perfect end to a fantastic spring race morning.
Extra spicy, double bloody mary
I can't wait to get back out there on April 27th for my first trail marathon!