- Trail Race
On Saturday, September 28 I ran the Big South Fork 17.5 Mile Trail Race. It was my first time running the race (though I'd read about a couple of years ago and honestly thought "that's something I'll never be able to do!). I was wrong! I did it!
The race is within Big South Fork National Recreation Area and is actually two races: a 17.5 miler and a 10K. In all, about 150 people ran both races - they start together and the 10K only runs the Litton/Slaven Farm Loop.
--> The course is very, very runnable which is SO nice. Granted, it didn't stop me from tripping a few times but no falls so I'll take it.
--> The course is also very, very pretty - lots of variation in the different parts. Some felt almost tropical (near Fall Branch Falls), some was definitely woods, some along farms, some along cliffs, some skirting enormous rocks and overhangs... a little bit of everything!
--> Everyone I encountered on the course was SO NICE and there was no intense pressure to go, go, go, go. I think starting at the back of the pack was smart and influenced the more laid-back mood.
--> The aid stations, while super simple, were great and well placed. The people were nice and helped me make sure I was heading in the right direction. GU was available every time (even had flavor choices!) and Tailwind was appreciated!
--> The location and timing of the race is perfect, especially for camping. Big South Fork is one of our favorite places to go and the weather in late September was great!
--> They had plenty of post-race food (bbq and sides) but not a lot of simple stuff that I wanted to eat, like bananas or oranges, etc.
--> No medals!! In my dream world, they would not go 3-deep in age group awards for both races (those folks got custom backpacks) and would instead only give out overall winner awards for each race... that way they could spend the money on medals for every finisher.
--> The awards part post-race was a bit confusing and hard to hear. I enjoy hearing the race times for the fastest of the fast people and though we were right under the pavilion I couldn't hear much of anything and never really knew which person was getting an award for which place in what race.
Overall: HIGHLY recommended and I'm already looking forward to next year!!