A few weeks ago I entered an online competition an runningcalendar.co.nz to win entries for a few races. I was lucky enough to win entry to a trail running extravaganza up at riverhead forest. So I entered in the medium length (9km) course, and on Saturday off I went, for my first ever trail run.
As I said in my last post, I've been developing a bit of an injury in my right calf, and that still hasn't cleared up. Which means that I haven't been doing much running recently. Down to once or twice a week... So I wasn't expecting big things.
The race itself was an experience. The course was made up of a combination of vehicle tracks, single track motocross tracks and swamps. It began nice and easily:
but quickly turned into a long, painful climb. Actually, the climb itself wasn't too bad... no worse than the hill at the start of the northern crossing. It was the track that made it so hard, road running shoes are NOT suitable for going up or down hills on muddy, slippery single track! After the climb, the descent was not really any faster, slipping and sliding my way down the hills, there was just as much time going slow as there was on the climb only this time for control reasons.
Once down the hill, back on the relative flat the track almost disappeared. The race became running from marker to marker through the trees and undergrowth, and over, (in some cases through) some 'water hazards'
In the end I finished 15/20 over all on the 9km course in a time of 57 minutes, 45 seconds. I might have been slow, but I had a blast and there's every chance I'll be back for another go running in the mud...