Trail Monday: WIlliam O'Brien 10 Mile Trail Race

It's race day, the reason I made sure I ran on trails at least once a week with pretty good regularity all summer. William O'Brien 10 Mile Race and 10 miles is a very sensible trail race distance.

Trail: We ran parts of the lower park and the camp ground by Lake Alice, and parts of the upper park which was mostly prairie and some woods.  The course was very well marked.  We had aid stations at mile 3, and then at the loop by miles 5.5 and 6.5.  I was happy for the water and Gatorade because I didn't carry any of my own. 

Hills: The hills are for real.  To recap, Pike Island has 144 feet of gain, all at the end up that big hill.  Baker has 178 feet of gain, and I whine about it a lot. Elm Creek actually has the most gain at 211 feet. For reference the Flying Pig Half Marathon clocks in at 696 feet of gain.  This trail had a whopping 709 feet of elevation gain.   Lesson for next time: I need to run more hills. 

Ease of Running: Absolute pleasure.  The only single track is up and down that ginormous hill at miles 1 and 3.  The rest of it is a mix of cinder trail and wide grass track.  I was so happy the grass was mown and fairly beat down by the time I got to it.

Nature: I did not see many animals.  I'm going to guess the 200 runners in the woods scared them off. My parents said they saw some butterflies.  I did see lots of flowers.  The course is straight up gorgeous.

Will I come back: FrontRunner put on a great race, and the course was great.  I would run this trail race again in a minute, if I keep up with the trial running next year.  My training plans for next year are definitely the wild card.

About the race: My parents were in town for the race and told me to only run trail races from now on.  Another friend joined us today, and they three were together spectating. While I was running, they had a visitors center to walk in, and they checked out some of the trails themselves.  At the end of the race there were leftover shirts and my parents scored them as out of town spectators.  Park entry, parking and packet pick up were all super easy.  The course was very well marked.  The volunteers were awesome (shock!).  I met some people who seemed to be running about my pace and wound up sticking with them.  I knew I would be slower than them on the up hills something to practice for next year.  I was really surprised how much faster I was than them on the down hills.  Something I should keep practicing for next time, because it earns me time on the courses. I was both crazy hungry and not wanting any food by the time the race was over. 

Special thanks to my crew: Mom, Dad, and Lucinda!

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