The weather promised a little sun and no precipitation. The morning started with a balmy 29 degrees, almost a half-inch of snow on the ground, and me having to defrost my windshield to head to the race. This was an impromptu race. I hadn’t planned on running this morning but Dan ‘Cyclops’ Humphrey registered on a whim and I couldn’t let him get one race up on me so I opted in. (I’m not too competitive).
When I got to the course at Angel Mounds it was frigid. The wind was blowing and sleet hit me in the face. It would be a good day! I could hear others in the background telling each other it would be warmer in the woods. It was not.
Dan showed up ready for the worst and we set off looking for the other Corn Fed brethren lurking amongst the pretenders. I knew Phillip Powers was there someplace, and Jennifer Barns. We found Phillip. Jennifer was there someplace. So there were four CFS in the house!
The race started on time and the chill drove into me all the way to the woods. The trees did provide some respite from the wind but 100 yards in we hit the first of much-anticipated mud and icy water. Now it was game on. The pack started to separate as many runners tried to gingerly make their way around the water and mud. As a true Spartan I drove through the impasse secretly hoping I didn’t step into a deep hole and snap my leg. (It would have been very non-Spartan to be carried out)
A mix of mud, icy water, a few log obstacles, the race was deceptively difficult with its terrain. Somewhere along the route I ended up by myself and had managed to stay on my feet the whole time. I didn’t see Dan behind me anymore and only at the 5-mile point did I find Phillip and finished the 10K alongside him. He was slotted for the half Mary and headed off, as I broke right after the finish line heading for the food.
I saw Dan emerging from the woods and met him at the finish. Both of us agreeing that we had more in the tank and should have opted for the further run. I had been skeptical because this was the first race with my New Balance Minimus 10’s. I posted my feeling on them already.
All in all it was a great day and race. Not quite Spartanesque but a good challenge never the less. I encourage any Spartans in the area to try it next year. It was a good test and a good workout. Well worth the $35.
What I did learn was that all of my race prep, nutrition, clothing, sleep (of which I got little because I was thinking about all the other stuff) meant very little at the start of the race. I didn’t set a PR nor could I have with the conditions so I just ran for the fun of it (despite rerunning the race in my head 800 times seeing where I could have shaved a minute or so here and there). It was fun and that was all it needed to be.