Race InfoLocation: Alum Creek State Park, Lewis Center, Ohio
Date: Thursday, September 14th, 2017
I got back from a 2 week trip to Russia on the Tuesday night leading up to this race. I figured I’d work Wednesday/Thursday and end the day at the race. Originally, I had signed up to get more points for Columbus Run Crew. This all sounded like a great idea before I left for Russia.
On my way over to Russia I picked up a bad bug in the JFK airport. Most of my trip I had body aches, fever, and was generally exhausted. Towards the end I had a nice mucus buildup that I couldn’t get rid of no matter how hard I tried. My voice also refused to cooperate. Now pile on jet lag and returning to work the next day to my 2 weeks illness. Suddenly this race was sounding like a terrible idea.
I debated whether or not to go. In hindsight I realize that participating but not racing never crossed my mind. I battled between the two extremes of not going at all and racing as hard as my body would allow. I finally convinced myself that I wasn’t that sick, despite my complete lack of exercising while ill. So off to the race I went.
I sat off to the side at the race start blowing my nose and coughing like crazy. Yep this was going to be interesting.
At the starting line no one wanted to be up front. I knew I shouldn’t have been one of the first ones to start! As I scooted back, everyone seemed to follow. The race started and I let others go ahead of me.
It was still light out but already seemed much darker on the trail under the trees. I had my handy Knuckle Lights at this race which were 100x more comfortable than wearing a headlamp. The race thinned out pretty quickly and at about mile 2.5 I was on my own.
I was pushing myself too hard, and could barely breathe out of both my nose and mouth. Already physically exhausted, walking to the finish started to seem like a great idea. At this point I was beyond frustrated for putting myself in this situation. I was almost half way done so I tried my best to power through. My breathing was heavy and from here to the finish I had to stop several times to cough up mucus. It was hard to get my body moving again after each stop.
With 1.5 miles left to go it was starting to get dark. If I wasn’t sick I wouldn’t have had to run as long in the dark for… Not much I could do about it now. The darkness now made it challenging to just follow the trail. I don’t have very good eyesight in the first place, but it goes from bad to complete crap at night. With no one to follow I would often have to stop and look around for tree markings. In more open areas the trail looked the exact same as off-trail: just scattered leaves on the ground with no clearly defined path.
When I finally got to the creek crossing I knew I was close. I got excited and was looking across the creek instead of at the drop-off below me and slid down the hill. Clearly I didn't pay enough attention to the pre-race warning about this exact spot.
From here I had under a half mile to go. I hit the clearing and bolted across the finish. Thankful that this terrible idea of mine was all over.
Final Time: 1:03:28
I was hoping to run this race in under an hour. Clearly I missed that mark. But all things considered I’d say I gave it my best. Reflecting back on this race I should have slowed way down, racing this was not my smartest idea.
2015 Time: 54:59