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Sep 1 / Jane

Hot Diggity Dog 10k Trail Race 2014

I was unexpectedly back in town for Labor Day.  (Impending storms shortened our weekend camping trip.  Not that we wouldn’t camp in the rain, but more importantly, we do not have anywhere to dry wet gear.)  So I made the last minute decision to run a local 10k trail race.  I got there early to sign up on-site and found some of the Hamilton Area Trail Runners (HATR) to chat with until the start.  My speedy friend, Bill (winner of the Trenton Half last year), was also there training for a fall 10k so it was fun to catch up with him a bit too.

Based on the results from last year, I had an idea I may be competitive in this race, and with no chip timing I lined up near the start.  We were off towards the marina on a paved pathway and then straight into the woods.  The trail was windy single track with lots of rocks and roots.  Most of it is packed down for mountain bikes and there wasn’t much elevation change.  I stayed behind Erin from the HATR group until about 1.5mi, then I fell into line behind another female leader.  I followed them most of the way, got past a couple people before the 5k mark then we were pretty evenly paced.  The woman in front slowed so I moved past.  I was feeling pretty good, despite the humidity (97% at the start of the race, temps in the low 80’s).  It felt a little cooler in the woods, but still humid.

On the last wooded loop I saw the woman I’d passed before catching back up and I knew outside of the woods, in the full sun and heat, I’d slow.  I dug deep and thought to myself, how awesome it was that I hadn’t fallen during a trail 10k.  And then I promptly fell.  Seriously, it was just like that.  Thankfully it was just a little stumble, no broken skin, just a little dirt.  I ran out of the woods to the volunteer indicating “second female!”  But in the full sun down the path from the marina I was exhausted!  The previously third female ran by me and I picked it up just enough to finish third female in a time of 58:01 (7 seconds behind #2).

Running to the finish

Running to the finish (photo credit: Bucks County Speedsters)

I was hoping for a finish between 55 and 58 minutes.  I’m thrilled I met my goal and exceeded my expectations for an AG place.  Looking at the results now, it appears there were about the same number of participants overall (126) but the times were slower.  Likely due to the humidity and threat of rain (it did storm later in the day).

Some of the HATR runners today

Some of the HATR runners today (photo credit: Bill Scannon)

I hung around the HATR group until the awards.  They announced the overall winners, male and female, then proceeded to the AG awards.  My name was not called.  Neither was Bill’s (who’d came in 2nd overall); or the woman who placed right ahead of me.  It appears their timing system excluded the top 3 overall from the AG awards even though they only gave out 1 overall award.  So afterwards, we were each given 1st place in our respective AG (which were, coincidentally,  all different).

I’m very happy I got out of bed early and ran this one.  It was a great, well-run event with a fun group of people.  The course was what I expected from a trail race in Mercer County Park: flat, but challenging.  It was also extremely well-marked and well-manned, with 3 water stations and volunteers at all trail ends.  The goodie bag for race-day registration was pretty nice, granola bar, full size water bottle, hand sanitizer…  Then a finishers reusable cup, full hot dog and chili BBQ with pretzels and gummy bears (not as great for us vegetarians, but still awesome that they provide this!).  The AG award I received was not a medal or a trophy (my least favorite, what the heck will I do with this?), but a $20 gift card to Modell’s!  I was just telling Alex how I love my ADIDAS compression shorts and wanted another pair…  I would definitely consider putting this race on my calendar again next year.

Race goodies

Race goodies

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