*RECAP* VERT Big Bad Wolf 5-Mile Trail Race

It's not often you get to run or party with a wolf...

Okay okay so at Saturday's Big Bad Wolf 5-Mile Trail Race we didn't actually party or run WITH the wolves. BUT we looked at them. ;)

We made the 45-minute trek to Ipswich to rock the Wolf Hollow with my fellow Slumbrew Happy Soles. I love meeting new people and seeing familiar faces when the Happy Soles get together at a Cambridge 5k/VERT Race Series race.

After lots of hugs and laughs before the race even started, it was all of a sudden the 1 minute warning that the race was starting. Ohhh I am with all my friends to actually race THEN drink beer. Oops I sort of forgot about the running part. ;)

I finagled myself up to the Start Line and we were off. I had no expectations for the race. I was hoping to beat last year's time (40:38), but with the sore hamstring I didn't have my hopes up.

I started the race chatting with fellow Happy Sole Kate, who was also experiencing some pain in her hamstring area. So we swapped treatment ideas.

The first 1/4 of a mile or so is on the sidewalk as we head from the Start/party area to the field/trail portion of the race. The race is tight at the beginning, but really opens up once you enter the field.

Since I did this race last year, I knew the terrain. The race consists of two 2+ mile loops.

The Big Bad Wolf is a great into to trail running. The race is in a huge open field with some small inclines. It also features that uneven terrain that basically all trail races have. The kind of uneven footing that you feel in your ankles the next day.

But thankfully there aren't any huge inclines/hills that you will have to face.

I really would recommend it to all fitness levels/paces. There were runners, run/walkers and walkers on the course.

Mile 1: 8:02 Mile 2: 8:01

I was really shocked at the pace for the first two miles. I think I was excited to see so many fun folks out on the course. Also there were some STELLAR costumes out there. Folks who take part in this race series take the costume contest very seriously. ;)

Mid-run selfie

I made sure to slow it down this mile while doing the mid-run selfie and posting due to the uneven footing. I had a sprint tri the next day and REALLY didn't need to twist an ankle.

Mile 3: 8:17

On the second loop, I felt some pain in my right hamstring. NOOOO not both of them. Oh yes folks both of them. I tried to keep focused on being over halfway done. I promised myself I would stretch extra when the race ended.

The final loop was a little tough. Knowing how long you have left in a race can be pretty tough mentally. Anyone agree?

I really need to hand it to VERT for offering free race photos. Yay!

I was trying to give the photographer a "Hey there" hand gesture, but he caught me mid gesture so I just look awkward.

Mile 4: 8:14

Man was I happy when the Garmin buzzed for Mile 4. One mile to go. I wanted to stretch and enjoy a beer. :)

As we hit the pavement again, I knew I was in the home stretch. My Garmin buzzed before we hit the Finish Line for 5 miles.

Mile 5: 8:13

So my paces may be slightly off since the Garmin gave me 5.13 miles.

But either way the final time was 41:41. I was happy with the results even though I was almost a minute slower than the previous year. I finished 94th overall and 25th among females.

The Flagraiser IPA hit the spot post-race. I love seeing all my teammates come together after the race, checking in on each other and cheersing with a Slumbrew.

Once everyone had crossed, it was time for a group photo. Proud that our teammate Kristina said: "Now we chug ... 1 -2 -3" and this picture was born. :)

After our photo it was awards time.

Now our group never really has a shot at the team prizes ... except on this day.

Kate and Kat had brought two friends with them and welcomed them with open arms to the Slumbrew Happy Soles family. They just happened to be uber speedy. George (second from left) finished the race 3rd overall, while Craig (left) took the #1 spot overall.

These two speedsters helped land the Slumbrew Happy Soles in second place among the 12 teams.

Can you tell we were a TAD excited???

It was awesome seeing how excited the whole team was. We all took turns drinking out of the trophy.

Now we wait for the Slumbrew Taproom open so we can proudly display our trophy! :)

Once awards were handed out, it was time for the costume party and dance off. That's right this race has the complete package.

The wife and I had to duck out at this time as she had a hockey game. But it is always a joy racing with the Happy Soles.

So if you are in the Boston area and interested in trying trail racing? Use the Big Bad Wolf race as a jumping off point. If you don't want to drive to Ipswich, you can always use the commuter rail to catch the free race shuttle.


Have you ever thought about trail racing?