Over the River and Through the Woods
By: Asia Shah
Last year Kamran and I decided to run the third and final (and most difficult) race in the Rogue Trail Series with a friend and had an awesome time. As it was the last race and on a very technical course, I was really feeling the pain with normal road shoes and ended up a sore unit the next day. Even so, it was a fun experience and quite a challenge. This trip made us want to plan more for this year and run the entire three race 30k series. Sunday was the first one of said series and it did not disappoint!
A few weeks ago we each bought a pair of trail shoes in preparation for some of the more rocky terrain we would face. As the race yesterday was a bit more mild, we decided to hold off and wear our normal running shoes for the first 30k. I stand by this decision, however the three times that I had to cross the creek and soak my cushy, heavy shoes, I couldn’t help but wish I had on no shoes at all! My running group-mate and good friend Chris decided to run with me for the first two 10k loops, which ended up being a lifesaver! I think I ended up going faster because every time I would sort of fall asleep or back off he would take the reigns and keep pushing ahead. The first two loops went well with only one small direction snafu at the second creek crossing. We quickly backtracked and easily found the trail again. About 2 miles into the second loop I reached my bladder’s breaking point had to pop a squat on the trial…thankfully, no one was on our tails so my record pee time allowed for complete privacy, phew! Both of the first 10k’s were completed in about 50 minutes even, but I knew the third and final 10k would be tough as my legs grew tired, it got hotter, and Chris said goodbye.
The first mile I must have been pushing because I read a 6:40 as compared to my average of around 8:00. I didn’t bother to slow down or let this alter my rhythm since the course changed so much I knew there were bound to be fast spots and sloggy slow ones to match. Before too long, about mile two of this loop, I heard a familiar voice behind me. Scott Rantall, co-worker, Rogue coach, and all-around fit mother f-er said his Aussie hellos. He had run the first loop with a friend and got the go ahead to leave, so he picked it up about ten notches and caught me for the final few miles. This was definitely helpful as I was beginning to realize that the last 5k was going to be a long one. With about 400m to go there was this large rocky hill that came out of the woods and into the sun. Let’s just say I did not become its friend on the third go around. My favorite part of the last loop was when Scott, now running just in front of me, was encouraging me by saying “30 second left, 30 seconds”….followed about 10 second later by “ok 30 seconds now”….Did he not think I noticed this trickery?!! His “20 seconds!” notice didn’t come until at least 20 second after that and I was realizing that this Aussie could not do math! Alas, I could smell the finish and decided to forgive him of his lies.
Overall, if you have never competed in, run for fun, or attended as a spectator the Rogue Trail Series races, well then you SHOULD! There was ample food, drink, and socializing after the running and some really nifty awards created by Ruth England herself, cool enough to make you move your butt a little quicker.
Here’s where to sign up and learn more: http://www.roguetrailseries.com/. You can sign up for each race individually if you missed the first!