So my 2013 racing calendar is officially wrapped, and I must say I’m pretty happy with it! I ran more races than I anticipated, met so many great new people, and am continuing to build Muddy Mommy in hopes of encouraging 30-somethings with kids (or not, just get out and get active will you already?) to kick back and get dirty, all while living a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Surprisingly enough I finished my racing year not with an obstacle race, but with a trail run, the Masters Of All Terrain 10 Miler.
The race was hosted on my birthday weekend in BFE Orlando… okay, well Seminole State Park if you must know, but for having never been there before it sure seemed like the middle of nowhere, and it definitely made for an interesting start to my race day. You see, I had had a very busy weekend thus far with birthday celebration as well as with racing, had gone out the night prior with friends, and then awoke at 4:45am Sunday morning to embark on my journey to Orlando. Despite my fatigue, I was determined to go to this race, so I hopped on the highway and headed across the state. From there I proceeded to get lost… Completely, hopelessly, lost.
Although the final race reminder email had warned participants not to use their phone GPS while attempting to locate the race venue, I apparently skipped over that part and did exactly what I should not have done. Lesson learned. I ended up driving around the unfamiliar countryside for about 40 minutes, randomly stopping in remote gas station parking lots to pull up the race’s Facebook page and beg for help from anyone who may be paying attention. When I knew that it was finally an appropriate time for my hubby to be awake, I called him, frantic, pleading that he instruct me as to where to go. Despite being late, I had resolved that I had not just driven around for 3 hours simply to turn around and come back home. I was going to race one way or another.
FINALLY, by the careful instruction of my darling hubby, I arrived! 20 minutes after the race had already begun…. Go figure I arrive late to the one event that does not have staggered starting waves!
Hoping and praying I could still jump into the race, I ran toward the starting line, and breathed a sigh of relief when I caught up with the race director and a group of volunteers. I’m sure that they could see the frustration written all over my face, and after a brief interchange, they hurried me on my way, assuring me I’d be able to catch up to the group that was sure to be several miles ahead of me.
Off I went, with the path to myself, happy to finally be out of the car and in fresh air.
The weather was perfect! A bit overcast, and in the low 60s, in my opinion it was my ideal climate for the ten mile run. The mild temperature and cool air made the run feel effortless, and the beautiful scenery made the time fly. I fell in love with my surroundings, and was very impressed with the organization of the race itself, with ample water stops provided and a lively group of volunteers eager to cheer on passing runners.
I could tell a lot of time and thought had been put into charting out the winding course. Although the first three miles lead us straight back on a dirt road, the remaining mileage was spend traversing single track trails up and down hills, and winding through the mature woods and dense fields of the beautiful state park.
Despite the frustration of the morning, that all melted away as I cruised along, mile after mile. I felt great throughout the entire race, and was able to catch up to many racers, encouraging them as I passed. In the end I finished with a respectable time of 1:36:59. Funny enough I had put 1:37 in my head as the time I hoped to finish in, and I beat that goal by one whole second. Fancy that. 🙂
Post race I was finally able to collect my bib, shirt, and medal, said a few quick hellos, and made the trek back home. At least this time I shaved an hour off the travel time with accurate directions home.
I did not have the opportunity to get any photos of the beautiful course that was mapped out to wonderfully for us at Masters of All Terrain, but thankfully they posted a few shots on Facebook pre-race. I wanted to share a few of their photos, just so you can get a feel for the beauty of natural Florida that I had the pleasure to experience that day.
Beautiful isn’t it? Definitely a trail run worth checking out! Just be sure to read the pre-race reminders.
Well, on that note, I’m going to check out for a few days and enjoy a nice Christmas with my family! Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas!