This summer the Hubs and I signed up for the Park City Trail Running Race Series – a series of trail races geared towards introducing people to the sport of trail running, starting with a 5k and working up to a 1/2 marathon by the end of September. I had wanted to do this race last year, because, get this – the SWAG is a set of four pint glasses, each one with a unique design coordinating with the distance of the race. I chickened out though at the prospect of running anything longer than a 5k.
But, being the SWAG-motivated athlete I am, this year was different.
As we left Salt Lake City in the early morning hours to drive to the Round Valley Trail Head in Quinn’s Junction, the weather was cool with the promise of sun out on the trail, and hot air balloons floated in the early morning light, giving off the sense of celebratory anticipation.
The race began on time, something I appreciate as a person whose nerves play a great deal into my stamina, and by 8:00 A.M. we were off. Half a mile into the run, my nerves decided to play into another aspect of my performance, as I found myself running back to the bathrooms in a state of emergency. I know I’m not the only person who has NID (Nerves Induced Diarrhea), but seriously, it’s the worst thing ever when you’re trying to run quickly.
Needless to say, with an added detour and a sore/swollen knee from a tumble two days prior, I finished the race in 43:00 minutes (around a 13-14 min. mile!). The course offered gradual hills, wide tracks, and stunning scenery. Along with the wonderful volunteers (I might be a tad biased since the husband and wife team manning the water station are friends of ours), this race was the first time I felt at home on a mountain trail. I saw people of all sizes running, and all were welcomed with open arms and loud cheers which makes me think I’ve found yet another group of fitness enthusiasts I’d be proud to call friends. That’s another cool aspect of this series – you get to see a lot of the same faces, which helps to promote a network of trail running buddies to aid you in your training.
On the drive home my hubs and I chatted excitedly with two of our friends about how much fun we’d just had, making plans to attack our training for the next race (a 10k on July 12th), which will feature a longer portion of the Round Valley Trail. All my SWAG jokes aside, I was craving a challenge that took me outside of my lifting/CrossFitting routine, and I anticipate that this series will continue to deliver! Even though the prospect of running 13.1 miles along mountain trails still scares the shit out of me (apparently both literally and figuratively), I feel better prepared to tackle the challenge within the supportive group that is the Park City Trail Series.
For my friends living in Utah, please do yourself a favor and check them out here. Hope to see you on the trails!