Trail running isn't something that ever really entered my realm of possibility ... until Eddie O and the VERT Race Series. Last year I ran my first-ever trail run - the VERT Sasquatch - a 2.35 trail run through the Fells in Stoneham, MA. It was a fun experience so when Eddie told me he would be expanding to a 5-mile trail run I was in.
The Big Bad Wolf Trail Race in Ipswich, MA was born. It would be held at Wolf Hollow, a wolf sanctuary, with proceeds benefiting the Wolf Hollow Foundation.
Eddie, as usual, secured some great local craft brewers to pour post-race: Slumbrew, Ipswich Ale, Notch and Clown Shoes.
Since Slumbrew would be in attendance, I would once again captain our team. We had an amazing 36 person team. Way to represent Slumbassadors! ;)
Ipswich is about 45 minutes from my house in Somerville, but with a Noon start it didn't require an early wake-up call. Yay!
Tori and I hit up Dunkins and hit the road just after 9:30 or so.
Since it was a Saturday morning, there was little to no traffic as we sailed down the highway then through the beautiful side highways/streets to get to Wolf Hollow.
There was no assigned parking lot, but we knew we were at the right place as we saw all the cars lining the street.
I picked up my bib - #82 - and Tori and I headed to see the wolves. They look like big puppies. Well at least one did that turned out to be 60% wolf and 40% dog (or something like that).
I headed to the Start area to wait for Jeff from Slumbrew to drop off our team shirts and for all the teammates. Due to traffic, the shirts were delayed, but thankfully all were handed out ON TIME for the Start. Who doesn't need a little adrenaline in the morning. ;)
With a 15-miler on schedule for the following day, I wasn't going to push this race. I wanted to perform and have fun, but come out uninjured. My usual M.O. for races these days. :)
Before I knew it it was time to start. We headed out on the street for about a 1/4 of a mile or so before taking a right into the fields. It ended up being 2 2.5 mile loops through this large field.
Thankfully most of the path was gravel and cleared, but when in the depths of the large field - you were navigating through thick grass, normal dips in the land and horse poop. Oh the horse poop.
It was kind of funny to see all these city folk taking in the "country." :P
And for those that think I always take amazing race photos ... False! I just usually post the nice ones.
Here are 2 not so fun photos:
Thanks? VERT for posting these.
There were some folks ROCKIN' the wolf-themed costumes out on the course.
Once you completed both loops, you headed back to the street to finish the last 1/4 back to the Finish line.
I ended up 83rd overall out of 515 ... so close to #82 coming in 82nd.
Normally I would've been happy with this time, but as the fastest girl on Team Slumbrew I felt as if I had let the team down. A team score is a combination of top man's time, top female's time and 2nd fastest time overall (as long as someone not top male or female). Make sense. Well I had been at a nice low 7 min/mile pace at the beginning, but as the sun shone brighter I was just getting tired.
I gave it all I had, but knew I also had a 15-miler the next day.
Slumbrew ended up 5th out of the 18 teams and I just wish I had done more. Our crew has never placed, but maybe someday. But the most important thing when it comes to our team is the fun. We have so many people who join our team to run their first race or their farthest distance - and I welcome that!!
If you enjoy Slumbrew and want to give running a chance, come aboard some race! :)
Aren't we one sexy group?
As our shirts say: First to the Finish Beer.
I would definitely check this race out again next year. It was fun to get out of the city and explore a new part of Massachusetts.
Eddie did a great job with shuttle buses to the Commuter Rail so people had an easy time getting out from the city if they didn't have a car.
Have you done a trail run? This has peaked my interest in attempting a more terrain filled trail...