Charleston Park, Cumming, GA
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Trail Series Race #3 - 4.3 miles
Weather - Cloudy, upper-40s
I didn't plan it this way. It just happened. Typically, the days before a race are a taper. You reduce the activities that you might normally be doing. The theory is, you will have more energy for the event. Well, that's the theory. The two days prior to this race I was in the north Georgia mountains, hiking.
My daughter was in town, we decided to hike to the Hike Inn. The Hike Inn had been on my list of things I wanted to do for a few years. These two days were the only ones that fit everyone's schedule. It's a 5-mile hike from Amicalola State Park to the Inn. At the Inn you get a rustic bunk for the night, and they feed you dinner and breakfast, family style. We thoroughly enjoyed doing this. So, instead of tapering before the race, I ended up doing about 10-miles, hiking.
Saturday morning, I was up and on the road about 5:30 AM. It was about a 30-minute drive. Of course, had the usual, a coffee and an apple fritter on the way.
The race was capped at 250 participants. The reason for this, parking. There are only so many parking places at the park. It's a nice park. Prior to this race, I didn't even know this park existed. It's on the shores of Lake Lanier. It's a great place for a hike someday in the future. Glad I learned about this place.
Being early I was easily able to make my way through the porta-potties, twice. That's always a good thing before a race. They had us line up in groups according to expected speed. I lined up in the 12-minute-mile or slower group. It was the last group. I am a back-of-the-pack guy, so this was my normal place.
It was a wonderful trail. There were enough rocks and roots to require me to look down more than looking ahead. That is the challenge of trail races. Steps must be figured out to prevent yourself from tripping. In road races, you can look ahead. This is not true in trail races. Face plants are always a risk if you do not make deliberate decisions on where to plant your foot.
It was a good race. We did a lot of switchbacks, you always had others in your peripheral view. It was a 4.3-mile race. I overdressed for this race, had too many layers on. After the race, soaking wet from sweat, headed to my car get into some dry clothes. Your body temperature drops rapidly once you stop, I get cold pretty quick when this happens. Dry layers really do help with this rapid decrease in body temperature. As I made my way back to the finish line, they were announcing the 3rd, 2nd, 1st in the male 65-69 category. I place 1st. I was surprised. My time was 58:21, a 13:34 per mile pace.