RACE: Summer Solstice Trail Run
LOCATION: Cay City Park, Hebron, CT
DATE: Sunday, June 14, 2015
LENGTH: 3.3 miles and 5.5 miles
RUNIT RATING: two thumbs, way up!
It all started with a Facebook alert. When I saw Patty’s post mention she was participating in the Summer Solstice Trail Run, for her birthday, I thought this would be a great event to test the trail race waters, so I signed up too. The Runit crew also consisted of Sarah and Jenn. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous when I arrived at Gay City Park, not only due to the unknown race specs, but also due to an injured quad I received during soccer pickup that week, and my leg wasn’t quite 100% yet. But, despite my mental road-blocks, I couldn’t pass up a time to hang with my Runitlikeamom sisters!
After some group shots and #RunitSelfies, it was time to start the trail race. We began the run with an incline up towards the trails, from the paved main road, and the 3.3 mile runners (myself and Jenn) were then separated from the 5.5 runners (Patty and Sarah) to compete in their own respected tails. From time to time, we were reunited with the other racers, but the event staff did a great job of showing us which way to go along with well-marked signs pointing us in the right direction at all times. They also gave us a nice cheer as we ran by (thanks guys!)
While on the trail, I came across some natural obstacles, like rocks, leaves and even tree trunks to hurdle over! My inner dialogue told me to keep my knees up (thanks to my soccer calisthenics training), as well as be slow and steady when the ground looked like a mystery to tread on. The number one rule Patty yelled out to us before we took off was:
Great advice, Patty! Too bad I didn’t keep that mantra going in my head, because in typical Robin-fashion I took some pictures of the scenery during the race and…(TRIP), my phone almost went flying out of my hands! So, if you are thinking about taking pictures during a trail run, stop first, then snap some shots.
Another type of obstacle we faced were the trail hills and, don’t worry, there were plenty to go around! Some had slight inclines that were easily tackled, but others were steep, rocky and very challenging.
I tried my best to run up a portion of each hill, before I hiked the rest. The athlete in me rallied and pushed until I reached the next racer going up a hill. Those little goals I made during the race made my trail run very self gratifying!
I was very happy with the fitness attire I wore for the race. I layered my clothes and was able to shed a sweatshirt before we started the run, and my fitness tights were able to support my injured leg by keeping it heated and loose. Another side note, was my back. I had noticed back pain after running some of the road races from time to time, over the past year, but this trail run resulted in zero back pain!
I do have two questions for all the trail-racing pros out there:
- My road race sneakers fared well for the run, but should I look to another type of shoe for the trails?
- My sunglasses fogged up for most the race – any suggestions on another eye protection product?
All and all this was a great run. Like a well-oiled machine, the Hartford Marathon Foundation organized the heck out of this event! Everyone was friendly and very helpful before, during, and after the race (high-five HMF!) What made this race completely top-notch was being able to surprise Patty with a post run birthday celebration, complete with cupcakes and Prosecco in our way-awesome race swag glasses!
Are you thinking of running a trail run? I hope you find this information helpful to you, and maybe I’ll see you out on the trails!
Disclaimer: Do not use photos without permission. No solicitation going on here, folks. It’s just me and my thoughts. Thanks for reading!