Saturday, June 15, 2013

Race 37 Rope Mill Trail Half Marathon

There were four really great things about this trail race:

1.  I did not get stung by bees this year (stung 5 times during race last year)
2.  I did not fall in the river this year (there was no river crossing this year, last year got completely soaked)
3.  No knee pain - walked the entire race - no running.
4.  It was free!  For volunteering for a previous race, they gave me a free entry.

Hard to beat that!

Being an early person, had no problem getting to the race early enough to snag one of the 50 parking spaces - once filled, participants had to park a half mile way.  With plenty of time I decided to explore a bit and came across a WARNING NOTICE that said:

Use of these trails is at your own risk.  This site contains ruins of the historic 

Rope Mill...foundations, slab, and flume are unstable...extreme caution.

Yeah, this sort of got my attention...

Actually the trails we did were in a different area, so that was good.  But the sign intrigued to find a  bit more about Rope Mill.  Apparently it was a mill that produced cotton ropes that were used for plow lines and well-water buckets prior to 1900. 

At 7:45 the Race Director called us all together to go over a few pre-race items. 

note the beach ball...
Although this year's race did not contain a water crossing, Lisa (RD) did have an "alternative' for those who just would not think the race was complete without going into the water.  Note the beach ball in the picture above - these were tied with string and a rock and each contained some type of giveaway.  They would throw these into the river and whenever you were passing by that part of the river and wanted to get one - just go for it.

In case you are wondering - I did not partake in the activity, was glad to stay dry : )

At 8:00 AM we were off for the half marathon and at 8:10 the 5Kers were off.  We did a lot of zig-zagging and up & down.  I'm not sure what the total elevation gain was for the race but it was pretty hard.  I know it is not possible but it seemed like we were always going up.

Truth be told, at about mile 8 I was ready for this to be over with.  It was getting hotter as the sun got higher in the sky.  Seemed like every time I turned a corner (and there were a lot of them), I was going up hill again.  And, it appeared that the course might actually have been more than 13.1 miles.  My Garmin read 15.62 miles when I finally finished.  I do suspect my Garmin  (FR60 with Footpod) might need a calibration check, but at most it would probably be plus or minus 5-8%.  

However, I did finish the race, and for me, that is what counts.