Last night, as I sat on my couch watching the epic Olympic event of snowboard cross, I hestitantly registered for my first trail race of 2014. This Sunday, February 23 I will run the Ugly Mudder 7 Miler. (Not to be confused with the Tough Mudder...this is not an obstacle race or mud run.) The race is put on by Pretzel City Sports, an organization notorious for challenging courses and shenanigans along the way.
From the race website:
It’s not especially hilly nor technical like some PCS courses. But it ain’t easy or flat either. And it has our normal assortment of dirt & debris, rocks & roots, deer skeletons and discarded 40 ounce-ers. But it ALSO has our normal attributes like a great post race party, funny signs, unusual aide stations, abusive volunteers, great course markings, a hot breakfast afterwards and just so many things that made this, in 2012, the 3rd largest rustic trail run in the entire United States.
At this time last year, while training for my first 50k, a 7 mile trail run would be an easy training run. In 2014, as my main focus has been speed on the roads, I expect a 7 mile trail run to be difficult. I haven't made it out to the trails once since December. I can honestly say that while I've definitely missed the peace and tranquility of running in the woods, I have not missed spending every weekend running the same exact trails over and over again. WIssahickon Park holds a special place in my heart, but I'm still not ready to get back to training out there after spending so many hours and hours running circles around the park in 2013.
Having said that, I do not have any real expectations for this race, except to have a really fun day on new trails. I've heard good things about this race and as much as I'm having fun running faster on the roads these days, I DO miss getting my feet wet and dirty on the trails. If the description on the website is a foreshadow of the race itself, I'm sure it will be worth the $6 per mile.