Saturday, April 14, 2012

Race 18 Battle of Allatoona Creek

This morning I did a 9 mile trail race named Battle of Allatoona Creek.  This race is part of a series of trail races put on by Mountain Goat Adventures.  It was a small race, maybe 100-150 people.

I enjoy doing trail races in general, but this one caught my attention more so because of its proximity to where the Battle of Allatoona Pass took place during the Civil War.  I really do not know if the actual battle took place where we did the race today, but it is definitely in the same area.

They had a 5 mile race and a 9 mile race.  Each race started with the shaking of a cowbell.  The 9 mile race took us in a different direction for about 3 miles through a huge meadow:

They had us zig-zagging a bit through this meadow, I suppose this is how they made it into a 9 mile race?  That did bring up a question in my mind - why 9 miles?  I do not recall ever seeing a 9 mile race, have you?  This of course popped in and out of my brain during the race with questions like, did they start out by saying this is going to be a 9 miles race or did they find a venue for the race and basically stretched a path to 9 miles?  Hmmm...  I don't know.  Either way the first third of the race was in the meadow.

After the meadow we hit the trail!  

the trail was marked very well, really no way to get lost

As a back of the pack type person in these events, especially the smaller ones, I don't  see many other people as I progress through the race.  But somewhere around mile 6 or 7, I saw another person about 30 yards ahead.  This person was doing a slow jog and I was walking.  A few minutes go by and I come around a bend and see this person jogging towards me.  This was odd because we were suppose to be going in one direction on the trail.  She sees me and said that she thinks she lost her sunglasses when she fell a little ways back.  Since I am not really doing these races for time (or to win : ) so I said I'd help her look for them.  She then invoked St. Anthony saying "Something's lost and can't be found, please St. Anthony, look around".  I think we spent 4-5 minutes going back over the trail, we never saw any sun glasses and she basically said the heck with it.  She goes back to jogging and I'm walking along.  About a minute after that I hear her shout out a laugh and her two arms go up in the air - so I figure she found them.  She turned around  and said "I didn't wear my sun glasses today - it was just a senior moment".  We both smiled and she went on.

Around mile 8 I saw a sign that I really did not expect to see in the woods, on the trail:

It was just odd after being in the woods for awhile with no signs of civilization, to come across this...

For post race food, they had my favorite - PBJ sandwiches!  They also had bananas, Gatorade, water, cookies,...  Besides getting a technical t-shirt in our swag bag and such, we also got a few things that were very appropriate for trail activities - technu Extreme poison ivy scrubs and first aid antiseptic pain-relieving gel!

My watch time for the 9 mile trail race was 2:00:10.  It was a good race.