Monday, March 14, 2016

San Felipe Shootout

   What do I say or how to even begin? I had plans to go spend a weekend in Denver but life & work commitments got in the way.  After a week of rain I knew the trails in DFW were closed so I had a bright idea pop into my head to go run a #TROT race and see a ton of friends. As soon as Trail Racing over Texas posted a video of water covered trails I knew I had to go. Nothing but fun could be had outta mud,water and running a few miles.....  The Shootout was a combination of 3 races in 1 day. 5k at 7:30am, 10k at 8:30am followed with a 1/2 marathon for a total of 22.4 miles if I opted to do the entire Shootout. I always want to get my money's worth so of course I did all 3.
   5k- 1 3.1 mile loop. After arriving that morning I saw people looking at a "creek" behind the finish line and heard rumor of really deep water but I didn't care.  I was running at least 22 miles this weekend so I decided to just have a good time. Old wore out kicks was the shoe of choice. Races like this is why I hoard crappy ones. The race starts and we begin down a road and I'm thinking "what the heck?" I know Rob- the RD- and he's not going to make a course easier and fortunately the road was only about .10 and onto a jeep road which promptly dumped us into about .3 mile of knee deep water. A really nice soaking with 200 people scrambling for position. After that we got on single track for a bit before hitting a submerged bridge that ended  with climbing up a mud bank. After that we just had single track trail littered with knee deep mud holes and lotsa slop. Not sticky mud but just a soup.  Good times!!  This led us to an out and back which had a aid station at the end. And it had water & mud. At this point my legs were black as well as my beautiful #TROT tank top.  After the out n back we had a very short lived section that was flat,dry and super fast. All good things must end and it did on a 30ft slope down into a creek. A creek waist deep.  I tried walking down the hill and passed 5 ladies cursing as I slid down on my feet only to fall when I hit the water. More good times!! After that we walked,waded n some swam .3 or so through this swamp to our waists in water but it ended fast.  Once it ended we were on another single track trail that was dry.  Well til we came to the 1st turn and then we had to go back into this time chest deep water. A volunteer was out in the middle directing us and keeping everyone safe. We cleared that to run in knee deep water another .5 or so then down a muddy hill and through 2 creeks. It finally put us out on a flat straight dry jeep road and I ran hard thinking this is it and this 5k is done. LOL Not quite.  There was a slight detour at the end dumping us back into the waist deep water once more before scrambling up a wet hill and a 5k was complete!!! The best 5k ever!
   10k- like the 5k but we got to do the loop twice! After falling right after the 10k start into a mud pit, I drop my shirt at the 1/2 way mark and decide to take my coach's advice and just go have fun in the mud! Pretty uneventful other then getting to encourage a few 1st time trail runners to battle on through this.  I've ran every distance from 5k to 100 miles before this day with the exception of a 10k. It was pretty cool getting my 1st 10k on trails in one of the most memorable races I've ever ran.
   1/2 Marathon- This race was 3 loops of much the same as the 5 & 10k but had some beautiful soft single track that was pretty dry added on the end to get us to 13.1 miles.  It got hot and humid and by the 2nd 1/2 marathon loop and my 5th time in the swamp, I was looking forward to it. The water rose throughout the day but the safety guys were out there watching out for everyone.  My most memorable part of it was a 10yr old passing me on the 1st loop and him telling me how he got to swim through the water.  Activities like that keep kids out of trouble and kudos to Mom for tagging along behind that young man. And I must say, all that water kept all the mud from building up on shoes or bodies.
  San Felipe was a great race! Sliding down the hill into the swamp with Wayne like we were a coupla young kids on a sled to watching Jeff Ball, Steven Moore, Tracie Ackerhielm among other great Texas trail runners just killing it in spite of the mud and water made this race for me. Running with so many #TROT team members makes me so proud to be a part of this great organization. The elite guys and girls are so welcoming and helpful and the other Ambassadors are such a joy to be around.  The TROT volunteers are nothing short of amazing. John,James and the guy in the deep water- you men rock! HOURS in frigid waters just to keep us runners safe.  Thank you so much! I can't swim a lick but not once did I feel unsafe. All the other TROT volunteers- you are all the backbone of a great organization. Thanks so much! Rob & Rachel- Damn you never disappoint!! Many race directors would have been doom & gloom but you guys made people excited about running in mud  and water and you made it fun! I say it over and over but Trail Racing Over Texas doesn't simply put on a race. Yea we run em but it's an event and I can't wait to run another one of these epic races!! Til next time #RunStrong

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