|Race photos by Greg Davis|
The Clear Creek Trail Run took place Saturday, June 4 at Clear Creek Metro Park in Rockbridge, Ohio. There were two race distances: 25k and 10k. Alex and I ran the 10k. [Race information]
When Rocks and Roots Trail Runners Association posted a photo of the CCTR swag mug on Facebook I fell in love. I'm a sucker for great design, nature, and (short) trail races. Alex was sold immediately. After he won Iron Furnace he was pretty pumped and declared his intention to win the Clear Creek 10k. Because of his declaration - plus the fact that I ran a half the week before and this was technically my rest week - I considered this "Alex's race."
Alex's goal was to win and my goal was to have fun and enjoy the scenery.
We set off right at 8:30. I lined up somewhere in the middle and stuck with two other girls who were running a decent pace, but would stop and walk the hills. I noticed most people were walking the hills near me so I figured why not? I wasn't there to win!
|Walking a hill before mile 1. Race photos by Greg Davis|
|Looking dorky. Photo by Greg Davis|
|The middle 3 miles were out and back.|
I stopped at the turnaround for a minute or two to catch my breath, eat my gel, and drink water. Red shirt also stopped. The aid station provided water, Tailwind, and homemade energy balls (they shared the ingredients list beforehand which was a nice gesture). I chatted with the race director for a bit and decided I'd better head back out. For some reason I stopped my watch at the aid station and forgot to start it back up until I was one or two tenths down the trail. Whoops.
Anyway! I kept following red shirt and the fast downhill blue guy. When they walked, I walked. When they ran, I ran. I felt like I probably could have run more, but there were some intense uphills that I couldn't even power hike. Mile 4 had a crazy hill that just would not quit. In my tired state I tried to remember that famous quote about all forward motion being progress ... or something. (Do you know what I'm talking about?)
We hit a gravel road around 4.5 and I talked to red shirt for a bit about the weather and the hills and then I passed him. I wasn't wild about being out in front with no one to guide me, but I figured the trail would be well marked. Mile 5 brought us to a new trail around the lake. It was a very steep downhill and I tripped on a root, but didn't fall. Phew! Blue shirt the power downhiller passed me, but I got him later on an uphill.
I hiked a lot of uphills, but again, everyone near me did. Over the next mile I picked off two guys and kept another woman in my sights. I was pretty exhausted from the hills, but I was having a really great time. I think if my legs weren't a little tired from last week's half marathon and if I were feeling a bit more competitive I probably could have passed about three more people in the final mile. Regardless, I was soooo ready to be done and happy to see the finish. I picked up my pace and ran in to a very supportive cheering crowd.
|Coming into the finish. Photo by Greg Davis|
I would run this race again in a heartbeat. It was tough with the 1,100+ ft elevation gain, but it was beautiful and fun, with a great collection of runners of all skill levels. I'd like to try the trail again with some hill training and on fresh legs. I'm happy I ran this for fun, but it was cool to see how well I ended up doing in the overall placement.
The swag was pretty awesome, too: a tote bag, sturdy coffee mug, whole bean coffee, and some coupons for free distillery tours and yoga classes. We also bought a sweet race shirt and Alex's first place finished earned him an awesome wooden plaque. We need a place to display his multiple awards! (And my single award ha)
Final Time: 1:30:07
Final Distance: 6.5 miles
Overall: 18 / 48 (37%)
Gender: 7 / 29 (24%)
Age Group: 1 / 5 (I'll take it!)