The first weekend of September, I ran a free trail race hosted by the Birmingham Track Club and Southeastern Trail Runs. And since I usually do race reports, I’ll go back and give this one a quick rundown.
The hubs and I had gotten back from Jersey at about 3 a.m. the night before, and I was at Oak Mountain helping set up by 6:30 a.m. You do the math there. I didn’t have any goals or expectations for the race because of my lack of sleep and sufficient food or fluids the day before. I planned to hang mid-pack, take pictures, and enjoy the run.
Instead, when the 4-mile racers split from the 8- and 14-milers, I was shocked to hear Tosch yell that I only had two runners in front of me. From that moment on, it was a race. I ran at a decent clip, only pausing to walk up some of the Yellow Trail hills because of jello legs.
For the first mile and a half-ish I couldn’t see anyone in front or behind me. Which was nice and peaceful—like having the trail all to yourself. Then at some point I started to hear voices, and a husband and wife ran up behind me. The wife seemed like a strong runner, and had I not needed a nap and a gallon of water, we would have had a great footrace. Instead, I let her take the lead and I hung back with her husband.
With less than half a mile to go, the guy and I were basking in our guaranteed podium finishes when we came to a fork in the road. Rather than looking both ways, as I was taught as a child, I tore off in the wrong direction. With the guy following. For half a mile. 100% the fault of my sleep-depribed brain. By the time I figured out my mistake and we got back onto the course, we had fallen way behind. No second female finish for me. C’est la vie.
I don’t have any pictures from the course itself, because it turns out when you’re winning, you actually need to focus on running and not stopping to smell the flowers. But it was beautiful! Overall it was another very well-run event by David and Mary Jo Tosch. Getting lost is part of the fun in a trail race—I know I would have done well if not for my mistake, so that’s good enough for me!