Friday, December 18, 2009

Frozen Toe 10k

On January 9th 2010 we will be holding the first event on the Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail. This is going to be a great event that we hope becomes annual.

This has been a venue that I have looked at for a long time. It is a great trail that I use throughout the year and join with other trails in the area to train for many of the Ultra Marathons I've done over the years. Come out and enjoy this event and kick off the New Year with a healthy activity.

The Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail is a 5.6 mile single track trail that loops around the Roanoke Mountain Campground. This is a great trail with a little bit of everything. A couple of years ago it was upgraded in a few places and is now a fast and flowy trail that is perfect for a January trail race.

Course Description:

The event will start at the New Hope Christian Church. From here you will run down Welcome Valley Road to the Chestnut Ridge Trail. At the trail, runners will run the loop counterclockwise. Once back to Welcome Valley Road you will take a right and run back to the church/finish.

Event Age Groups: 11 male and female age groups. with medals given to the top 3 in each age group. The top 3 male and female winners will receive unique awards.

Age brackets for the event include, for both male and female: 14 and under; 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60 & up.

Parking for the Event: The event headquarters is going to be the New Hope Christian Church off of Welcome Valley Road.

Directions to the Start/Finish at New Hope Christian Church:

From Roanoke: Take I-581/HWY 220 South. I-581 turns into HWY 220 South. Just after the Outback Steakhouse take a left onto Old Rocky Mount Road (State Route 789). You will be on this for about .65 miles to Welcome Valley Road. Take a left onto Welcome Valley Road and the New Hope Christian Church will be on your Left.

Outback Scramble - Indianapolis IN

Every year Gina and I travel to Illinois to see our family for Thanksgiving. Typically we try to find a place along the way to trail run or, if lucky, find a place to race.

This year we were in luck. We found the Tuxedo Brothers Outback Scramble at Eagle Creek Reservoir. This thing was a blast.

Leading into the event we were lucky to find any information describing what we were in for. The race info described a race distance of 4 miles plus or minus a mile, creek crossings, briars/thorns, rope assisted up and downhills, a good chance at getting lost, and lots of other obstacles.

The race was capped at 300 people and was to start at 9:34am. If you brought canned good you received a discount on your race entry and the 3 people who brought the most canned goods got a head start. Weird I know!

The race started with a .75 mile or so lead out on a road. Then the course headed into the woods. Not on a trail, but into the woods, where you followed pink flagging. The flagging took you through the roughest portions of the woods, over fallen trees, up steep slopes, down steep slopes (some with ropes to assist you), into ravines, across creeks, zig zagging up and down just like my heart rate.

Along the course were hats (sombreros, viking helmets with horns, sequined hats, feathered hats, party hats, coiled up snake hats, you get the picture). These hats represented a choice for the runner. Grab a hat and cross the finish line with it and you receive 1 minute off your finishing time or run with your hands free and take the "real" time.

I wasn't too concerned with the hats until the guy in front of me dropped his as he was scrambling up a hill. He looked back and just decided to leave it. I picked it up and kept in in my possession for the rest of the race (more on this in a minute).

Towards the end of the race the course went into two separate fields of tall, 5 or 6 foot grass, where you could hardly see where the next piece of pink flagging was ahead of you. At the last field, I could see a course volunteer waving runners his way and directing them out of the "trail" portion and back onto a path and the final .75 miles.

The last section was a loop around a grassy field. We circled around the field and headed to race headquarters and the finish line. Everything seemed smooth. I was in 18th place and thought I could hold my own and come away a bit better because of the hat I had in my hand. As I was coming toward the finish about 100 yards out I felt something pull at my hat. It was a 20 year old trying to rip my hat out of my hand. I mean rip. He was tugging with all his might. Fortunately I was wearing work gloves for this "trail race" and had a healthy grip on my hat. The "hat thief" finally gave up and as he ran off I could hear him say "it worked last year" (repeat offender). So I finished with my swirled multicolored hat and got an extra 1 minute off my time. I was 19th overall and 2nd in my age group.

Gina and I had a great time at this event and may be back in future years.