Since penning Part One of my Dry Creek Race Report on the back of tree bark, it has occurred to me that I left out some valuable information. While my wildly personal experience was noteworthy, I should have realized others may have been looking for more pertinent information, so I thought I would give a deeper analysis of the running experience.
First off, Race Director, Season Kaminski had this thing humming from the minute you got there. It was super organized, the start line was clearly visible, and her speech on which flags to follow in the woods was spot on, not to mention loaded with trail humor!
Secondly, there was a nice downhill-ish first 3 miles. This was mostly “roads” and ended with a not-so-nice and very steep downhill segment that was covered with leaves. It was also my favorite part of the course.
My next favorite part came right after that downhill. It was a nice roll through a meadow that was flat and should have signaled me of the doom that lie ahead. But, of course I was daydreaming.
The hill that followed the meadow was unconscionable. They claim just over a mile, but the subsequent rollers turned that climb into about three miles. Not gonna lie, it was tough, and as my boy, Wasky, would say, “Legit.”
Listen, at the top of that long climb, nothing is more welcome than a friendly face, and that’s when I saw team photographer, and fastest Wasky, Carolyn unleashing her photographic excellence. I smiled, laughed, and cried as I limped back into the village.
This is where the race started and hundreds . . . err . . . dozens of thirsty fans raised the roof for my arrival. Humbled, inspired, and somewhat relieved, I moved on to the deadly Final Six.
“Rock and Roll” might be the headline for this stretch. Lots of rocks and lots of rollers. By mile eight, my legs were fried. My hip was screaming bloody murder, so I settled into the Ironman-shuffle for the next mile or so, then aired it out only to hear the same song from my hip. “Uh, dude, kinda hurtin down here.”
Yeah, but races with 700 feet of gain are going to make you hurt . . . especially if you’re not ready for them. Which I wasn’t, but sorta was because I finished. What bummed me most is that I never really had my breath right or find a groove with my stride, but I suppose both are more common on trails.
In all it was a memorable experience and the weather was perfect. The food that waited for famished hurdlers was dished out by Nashville Running Company Kingpin, Lee Wilson, in an endless buffet of steaming goodness.
Runners are a different breed, but trail runners take the family tree to an entirely new limb. They are duly committed to pain and seek it at all costs. It was a pleasure to be in their company.