First of all, a shout out to Achilles Running Shop and their awesome customer service. David (who I secretly call “Cutsie Pie Achilles Boy”) posted a pic on Facebook of some of the new Brooks gear they had just gotten in – and tagged me! How awesome is it that my local running store knows me well enough to recommend not only pink Adizero Bostons but this awesome t-shirt (that is currently in my drawer)!? SHOP LOCALLY!
This weekend I ran my third race in the Dirty Trail Series. (Remember the Easter Egg run where I won a free race entry to the Dirty Rotten trail race? Bam!) The Dirty Rotten was at my favorite Lake Metropark, Chapin Forest. It is literally minutes from my house and where I work the ski lodge when the snow actually decides to fall in the wintertime. Besides the five-mile loop I run constantly at North Chagrin, Chapin is the only other park on Earth where I can run and not get lost.
Unlike every other race morning this year, I actually got to sleep in Saturday and [gasp] got to the race ahead of time. I picked up my bib, chatted up my favorite Metorparks colleague, kicked myself for leaving my Garmin at home, and went for a tiny warm up jog. The race was a five mile tour of Chapin, including all of my favorite spots – the outlook, ledges, Lucky Stone Loop, and the hill down to the 306 entrance. We even ran on some single trails I’ve never noticed before.
Because I had another five miles to run Saturday and a 20+ Buckeye Trail training run on Sunday, I wasn’t planning on really racing the Dirty Rotten. Since I left my GarGar at home (dead anyways), I figured I would run by feel and take it relatively easy. Even though there were over 150 runners, I didn’t see too many along the way. I chatted up a couple guys on the path, including one that was running his first trail race and another who smelled like he had bathed in Old Spice that morning. My favorite race moment was running back up the hill by the Ledges Shelter, because said Metroparks bossman was parked there with his jeep and a megaphone
heckling motivating the runners up the hill.
I smiled, picked up a lucky stone, and rocked the rest of the race, passing two women at the very end once we hit the crushed gravel downhill. Even though I knew my legs were pumping pretty hard, I felt great and my lungs were happy, so I was quite shocked to see the clock time as I came out of the woods. One of my Outrun peeps tried to get me to slow down for a photo (ha! I like my pictures, but I like my fast times better), and I crossed the finish with a time of 42:42 – that’s an 8:32 pace.
Much to my surprise, my Garmin-less speedy run earned me third place in the women’s open division…and a pair of super stylish sunglasses, which I immediately modeled for the world. Elite Model Management, I’ll be waiting for your contract offer.
After the Dirty peeps wrapped up the race, a group of us hit the course again, bringing me to my ten for the day. The next Dirty race is Muddy Paws, this Saturday at the Pine Hollow Trail Head in the CVNP. There are five- and ten-mile options available and even a two-mile course for you and your dog! If you haven’t run a race in the series yet…go get dirty!
STATS: 42:42, 3/38 in my division, 9/76 out of the women, 63/167 overall
PROS: free race entry, Camelback water bottle swag, close to home (3 minutes), Lake Metroparks, well-marked and varied course
CONS: creepy logo, lack of mile markers (I ran Garmin-free)