Saturday, May 3, 2008

Helen Keller tour of Lake Perry 15K

OK... the race this weekend was actually called the Rock Creek Trail Series 10K, but due to my (and a bunch of other peoples) complete inability to follow ribbons, it turned into a 15K tour of Lake Perry complete with some bushwhacking and begging at strangers houses for water and directions. The weekend started off on a bit of a bad note anyway.. I got a freaking speeding ticket on Friday, which really sucks since most of the time I drive like such a grandma, but the sun was shining and I had the sun roof open, cranking the new Elbow CD (thanks Travis) and I wasn't paying attention. Bam.. 12 over the limit. The officer has such bad handwriting that I have no idea how much money I owe or if I want to go to court, when it is! Worse than a doctor I tell you!
We spent Friday evening wandering around First Friday, taking in the sights and enjoying a "date" of sorts. Went home for dinner and watched the Golden Compass and shared some freezer space with some friends who haven't had power since the storm blew in on Thursday night. They had about 40 pounds of meat they didn't want to lose, so they stuck it in our extra freezer.
Got up this morning to drive to Lake Perry, a little worried since I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get there, and forgot to eat some breakfast... no big deal it's only a 10K. (insert ominous music here). Sometimes I'm not very smart (OK a lot of the time I'm not very smart), when a race director gives directions to a race, it's probably best to follow them and not go haring off on some random road just cause the sign says Lake Perry. Once I got myself turned around and heading back on the CORRECT road, it was cool I figured I'd be there in plenty of time. Found the start easily, and also found a hidden ditch while trying to park my car. Thankfully runners are a helpful bunch and were "happy" to help push my car out of said ditch. Once I was out of the ditch, one of the girls helpfully handed me a chunk of my car that had fallen off. SWEET! I was just hoping that nothing was broken bad enough that I couldn't get home. I did notice that the organizers then put up some ribbon so that the hidden ditch was now a visible ditch. Glad I could point that out for them.
Got checked in, got my number and swag bag... good looking tech shirt and a montrail water bottle that says "run like a girl"... I'm going to cross out the girl part and make it "run like a mud babe". Found the Trail Nerd contingent and huddled with Christy & Sophia since it was in the 40's with a biting wind until it was go time.
The 5k & 10k start out together on the pavement to break things up before you hit the trail. Trail was pretty darn muddy but no where near as bad as Psycho Wyco (which will forever be the measuring stick), very nice small rollers and some technical section... I really liked it.. in fact I liked it so much I figured I'd run an extended tour of it. Sophia & I started out pretty easy but at about mile 3(?) there was an aid station, but we skipped it (after all it was JUST a 10K) and I kinda put the hammer down (for us anyway). We were cranking out 9 min miles and feeling good when I realized it had been awhile since we'd seen any ribbons, my garmin was saying we were at 5.7 miles and we didn't seem to be heading back towards the direction of the start/finish. We conferred and decided to run to 6.2 and then turn around if we hadn't finished. Sure enough 6.2 came and no finish, so we turn around. (I must say that our time was 1:02:20 at 6.2 miles so I'm calling that my finish time!) After heading back aways we run into another girl (Melissa) who thought she was lost too.. so she joins us on our backwards trek.. a few minutes later we come across Christy who says the guy behind her swears we're not lost. Said guy comes up and says he runs the trails and we're not lost... I swear loudly & rudely and take off back in the direction we had just come from. Another mile down the trail and said guy has been renamed big fucking liar.
At this point it's Sophia, Melissa & I, we slow down to a mellow trot and figure we'd be out for awhile. I'm not sure why we didn't just turn around again, but we didn't. Another mile or so and we come to a fork in the trail and decide to take the trail that heads upwards toward the finish line direction. It also heads towards a house with ladies sitting outside talking, so we beg some water and directions from them.. bless their hearts they were very kind to supply us with both. None of us had carried water or cell phones 'cause it was JUST a 10k! (mental note: always carry both!!) Christy catches up to us at this point and the 4 of us stick together down the trail that the nice ladies said was not very long. Another mile and we figure the nice ladies maybe have a different definition of "not very long". It wouldn't have been a big deal except for the lack of water and nutrients and Melissa wasn't an experienced trail runner, she had done 10 miles before so at least she was doing OK mileage wise, but she was looking a little dazed.
We saw a house and bushwhacked to the driveway hoping to end up back at the finish via the road. By this point we had been out almost 2 hours and KNEW that people would be out looking for us. The very helpful gentlemen hunting morrels gave us some directions back to what he thought was the correct road we needed and sure enough, not very long after that Christy spotted a familiar truck barreling down the road.. Yah-hoo Greg our saviour! We hopped in the back of the pick up and he took us back to the finish. Turns out there was another 4 people still out there... combined with the people that got lost at the beginning of the race, that tells me they need to take some lessons from the Greg Burger school of course marking. So we ended up doing over 9 miles, but at least there was a group of us and we had some good laughs during it. After all the lost folks were back they called in all the runners who went back out in search (thanks a bunch Gary, Ben & Greg!)


T Z said...

A great job of story-telling! The guy who "knew the trails" cracked me up. Don't you just love a know-it-all?

Christy said...

My first official DNF. I shall claim it with pride!

David Ray said...

Way to get your money's worth. :)

Kim said...

This is SOOO going to happen to me one day...just waiting.

Strawberry Hill Runner said...

At least it was a fun DNF! If this had happened during, say a 50 miler I'm sure I would be plenty pissed, but the weather was nice and I had fun people to be lost with and because we knew there would be people out looking for us it wasn't scary.