|Just call me Indie ;-D|
1. That 24 miles wasn't much
2. I was due for a long run that weekend....how convenient
3. It's close by
and most importantly....
4. I bet I can convince trail buddy to run it with me.
So, in an whirlwind of psychotic enthusiasm we sent in our race entries the Monday of the race.
What a mistake that was.
It was like Twilight Zone met Wild Kingdom.....I kid you not.
We show up to the race early due to race day packet pickup, not wanting to get caught up in lines. We are the first ones there. I suspect something is up when my race number is '3'. It turns out that the race is a field of 4. Really. Now I wonder if they are actually going to go through with the race or cancel it, but the race organizers are super excited and really want to carry on...even if it's a learning experience for next year. Okay. Then she personally highlights the route on a map, making note of the 'bushwacking' areas (wtf?) for each pair of participants (turns out it was Trail Buddy & I versus 2 guys power hiking). I am a little scared but already Trail Buddy and I are laughing and ready to 'lead the field' ;-D
|Trail buddy showing off her mad walking stick skills!|
|This is a 'trail'???|
Then there were the bears. That's right, bears, as in plural.
The first we heard it up ahead of us. Pro's that we are, we started yelling our conversation really loudly and it took off. We did not see this one, but it sure sounded huge! The next one was smaller and up ahead of us crossing our trail. Scared this one off too. Most likely they were thinking "we better get out of here, only crazies run in these woods!"
Then we got lost. Yes, lost. Completely lost the trail. Went back a couple miles and still couldn't find the markers. We ended up orienteering out of the woods, across a stream & up a cliff to get to an access road to catch the trail again....all on the last 10% of my iphone battery. We were pretty scared for a while. We figure we added 2-3 extra miles on the course. By the time we got to the next aid station, the power hikers had caught up to us....claiming (& smirking!) that they didn't get lost. We are convinced they were lying. I was pretty thankful to be out of 'bushwacking' territory.
And then it gets better....
|Yes, this is real!|
|More awesome 'trail' along a cliff|
|Entrance to the PA Grand Canyon|
We get to the last aid station and tell the guy about our close encounter & he says 'cool', leaves us there and jumps in his truck to see if it's still there so he can take a picture of it! We then are a little freaked about what might be underfoot as we head into another bushwacking section on the way to the finish. We finally finish, me just a couple minutes ahead of Trail Buddy & here is my claim to fame:
Yup, 1st overall. See, I knew I'd entered the Twilight Zone ;-D
Next up.....it's Tri Time!!!!! Yup, tomorrow I am re-entering the realm of the triathlon. I'm hopeful there are no snakes.