- Trail Race
The forecast early in the week for this race was for an afternoon temp of 96 degrees, which had the race organizers prepare by bringing in 1000 lbs of ice and as much water for the day. At 4am when I woke up the temp was 77. The park was easily accessible just off of the interstate in Carthage, MO. The early instructions were clear, and the multi-distance race started right on time at 6am. The course was well marked to the trail entrance. The majority of the running was on the Ruby Jack Trail, a rails-to-trails project, so it was flat and relatively straight. Clouds helped to keep the heat at bay for the first 2-3 hours, and trees provided shade on probably half the length of the trail. Drop bags and crew were allowed at three locations. The snacks were adequate, but it was the huge coolers of ice on hand that really made the day. By the third hour, the sun was up and clouds gone. A ziplock with ice was loaded into the back pocket of my hydration vest which gave me the boost I needed for my last 8 miles. It was a tough but enjoyable experience, and they handed out belt buckles in increasing sizes from 50K up to 100K.