- 3 miles/5K, 8 miles, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Trail Race
- Event Website
he Pi-Day River Rotation Half-Marathon is held at my very favorite river trails in Lawrence, KS. The race is put on by the Lawrence Trail Hawks, and is the only race I have ever run that serves pie at the end!
I was putting in heavy mileage because I was training for the Free State Trail Marathon at the Clinton Lake trails. This race should have been a piece of cake…. But… Circumstances meant I had not eaten or slept well in two weeks. I got up and got ready for the race. I made it to the parking lot. And I sat in the car and cried. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to race. I was pretty convinced I was going to walk over and tell my friends that I was going to go home.
I found my friends shivering around a heater, and hinted around that I didn’t know if I wanted to race. No one really said much, so I just kind of lingered. They called for runners to line up, and for whatever reason, I followed the pack over to the start line. I stood nearly in the very back of the pack, probably not a great plan for a gun-time event. The gun went off and I followed the pack down the road that runs to the trail head parking lots, and around to the trail head to start the race loop.
Note: The Lawrence river trails have many turnbacks so you can nearly run any distance there. The most common is a 4.75 loop that most runners call the “race loop.” Runners run this counter-clockwise while mountain bikers go clockwise. The River Rotational calls for a counterclock-wise race loop, a slightly shorter clockwise loop, then a final counter-clockwise race loop.
The pace was a little slow, so I started passing when I could and working my way up the conga line of runners. Eventually, I found myself in line behind my friend Trudi, and her friend (now Oiselle Volee teammate, Jordan).
I mindlessly ran, staring at the back of Trudi’s head. At first, she wasn’t even aware I was behind her. I struck up a conversation with a guy running behind me. His daughter’s had made his playlist so he was complaining a bit about the pop music he was listening to. (I guess you should always make your own playlists!!)
e finished the first loop and hit the aid station set up at the trail head. My friend Vickie was volunteering there and offered to take my jacket. I was warmed up and needed to shed a layer. A quick drink (I regret not taking a handheld!) and we were back out for the clockwise loop. Again, I was trotting along behind Trudi and Jordan. I noticed Jordan was wearing Oiselle, so we talked a bit about that. I was wearing a pink Oiselle long-sleeve so we had something to talk about!
The second loop seemed to go much quicker since we were running down the billy goats instead of up them. The makes a bit of a difference J We waved at friends who we met still running the first loop and gave some cheers and shouts of encouragement.
he third loop is when I started to notice I was getting tired. The guy that had been running behind me slowed way down, so it was just Trudi and Jordan with me. I was heading up one of the little billy-goat hills and caught the toe of my shoe. I had a little stumble so I slowed down a minute to make sure I didn’t injure myself. When I felt I was OK, I started working to catch back up to the girls.
he final sprint and I caught back up. My boys were not at the finish line since I finished a little sooner than I had projected, so I sat on a rock and took a rest. The boys got there 5 minutes later and checked out of the pie selection. Eventually, my tummy settled down and I found a piece of leftover pie. It was so good! Highly recommend the pies at the Pi Day race! They are all baked by Celestial Bakery in Lawrence, KS.