Location: Fort Buenaventura Park, Ogden, UT
Type: Trail race/fun run
Swag: Pink tote bag + champagne flute for finishers
Awards: First place overall, age group, prizes for best costumes, teams, and spirit.
This women's only trail race consists of two loops through woods, across a stream/river (6 times total), through sand, climbing over logs, and so forth. As they say, it's not a course for a PR, but it is a lot of fun.
Normally, the trail also climbs a set of stairs and then runs along the top of the ridge before descending to the finishing area for the second loop, but this year, the first couple of runners were attacked by bees, so they shifted the race to the lower level second loop.
The race brings together a lot of people, and there's basically two groups of people running it. There are people, like me, who are running it as a race -- not taking it particularly seriously given the terrain, but who are at least trying to run it. And then there are people who are partaking in the fun run aspect of it. Tutus, fabulous costumes, and no concerns about time at all. These women are great, and I especially love seeing moms run with their little daughters. The little ones are so cute. (And one badass girl finished eighth! At ten years old!)
The organizers court both groups. It's billed pretty heavily as a fun run in the mud with your girlz, but they also sweetened the deal this year -- anyone who participates is guaranteed entry to the Ogden Marathon, which ALWAYS sells out very quickly. T
None of this would be a problem except that the course loops, and some of the water crossings and obstacles are narrow. So the front runners lap those who are trailing behind, and there's a lot of congestion on the trails. Most everyone is great about it though -- the racers try not to step on the fun runners, and the fun runners usually get out of the way.
I've run this race once before. It was the second race I'd ever run, and I was six weeks pregnant, feeling awful, but I didn't drop out because I wasn't ready to announce that I was pregnant yet and I was running with a friend who totally would have guessed. It had been a hot day in August and by the end of it I felt whipped.
Today was great. I had no real time goals, as I was mostly using this as a recovery run. It started at 8am. Temperatures were in the 70s when we started, and the sun was just starting to shine. I arrived two minutes before the start (parking took longer than I'd expected), and everyone took off. I just tried to keep an even pace while my legs warmed up, and after the first big water crossing, I sped up.
I had my car key remote tucked in my bra, hoping that they wouldn't get wet in the deeper portion of the stream, but it was only thigh-high, fortunately. (Nothing like googling "can you get car keys wet" the night before a race.)
Here's the thing with races. I'm not very fast, but I love passing people. This is fun in a race that loops. About two-thirds of the way into the race, well into the second lap, I set my sights on a couple of women running together who were about twenty yards ahead of me. Pink Girl and White Girl, I called them (referring to their tank tops.)
I was gaining on them! I would pass them! I knew it! You're mine, Pink Girl!
And then we crossed another water hazard and I got stuck behind some tutus.
I caught up again, but didn't manage to pass them. I finished in 36:45, 16th overall.
At the finishing corral,to record our times, a volunteer scanned our bibs as if we were produce at the supermarket, and we received our times and places on little cards produced by Runner Card.
The finisher's area featured cupcakes and frosted strawberries, champagne or apple cider in the finisher's flutes, and I don't have any pictures because I ate them all up before I retrieved my phone from the car. (Phones and water hazards are bad idea.) So tasty.