Friday, February 18, 2022

Heritage Park Trail Run (Race Recap)

Watkinsville, GA
Saturday, February 5, 2022
Race/Event #100  
Trail Series Race #2 - 2.8 miles
Weather - Cold, clear, about ~28 degrees (again)

At 5:50 AM, when I got in the car to drive to Watkinsville the thermometer displayed 27 degrees. Yes, I did question why I was doing this. At some point I thought this would be a good idea. A few miles away, stopped at a QuikTrip for a coffee and an apple fritter. I tend to justify filling my stomach with simple carbs and sugar before the race. The logic, they'll be ready to be consumed quickly in the race in a few hours. 

The trail was a bout 55 miles away. There weren't too many cars on the roads yet, even fewer on the two-lane roads once I got closer to Watkinsville. Arrived at Heritage Park, a horse park, and was pleased to find ample parking. That is typically not the case on most of these trail races. The first thing I noticed when I stepped out of the car, the ground was crunching with every step I took. It had just rained for a few days and with the below freezing temperatures, there was a thin layer of ice. 

First things first, coffee and a long ride, needed to find a bathroom. What was nice, it was inside, and it was heated. Next looked for the packet pickup area, got my shirt and bib and started walking back to the car. I saw it and it made no sense whatsoever. 

Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream! What? It's 27 degrees outside. But then it made sense, they also sell Hawaiian coffee and hot chocolate. People were lined up on the other side in line for coffee.

About 30 minutes out from race time, started my warmup. With this old body, old bones, really can't just go from the car to the start without getting things warmed up. As I made my way around noticed something and thought, I need to get a picture of this. 

Looking east, as the sun was rising, I liked the shadows in the horse arena. With the sunup the temperature was probably in the low 30s. Still cold but you could feel the warmth of the sun. 

I found my starting corral, as usual, the last one. It makes sense for us to line up behind the faster people. There's no sense, if you're slow, to get in everyone's way up front. The race director, through a bullhorn was going over details of the trail. The one thing that stood out, we had to cross a brook just after the two-mile mark. With the rain in the previous days, it was about five feet wide. Bottom line, at least one of your feet is going to get wet. There was no other way around it. Oh well, too late to back out now. 

There were a lot of rocks, roots, hills, and switchbacks on the trail. I warmed up pretty quick. With the switchbacks I could see glimpses of what was ahead. As explained, just after two miles, I saw the people ahead of me at the brook. Although not happy about this at all, figured the best way through would be to not even break stride and get through it. When I got closer the woman in front of me, maybe 20-30 feet, just stopped at the brook. As I approached, she started explaining to me that she was just trying the figure the best way through it. As planned, I didn't break stride. Went to the left of her and plopped my right foot in the middle of the brook. The water was about four inches deep. The only saving grace, I did have an old pair of sneakers and a pair of socks in the car. Glad I had those.

Once again, place 2nd in the male 65-69 age category. There were only two of us in that category.