Three words: This was hard.
About 500 people participated in the Xterra: Thrill in the Hills Marathon/Half Marathon at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, GA. This race was put on by a company named Dirty Spokes Productions, LLC. They do bike races, trail races, and duathlons. They put on a great event – they’re really nice people too. This was one of a series of trail races they do in Georgia.
At the start we went about a half mile on the road just to help thin out the crowd and queue up for the single track trail in the woods. When I got to the trail head, it was a fairly long line, 20-30 people waiting to single file on to the trail. Yep – this is sure different than a road race the first mile or two the trail took us through a recently (controlled) burn area but after that it was good. Gorgeous day, temp at start low 40s, temp at finish high 50s.
I did not bring my iPod to this race – knowing that this was going to be winding, up and down, roots, rocks, mud, puddles, and briars – the focus is very different. Almost every step was an active negotiation between eyes, brain, leg, and foot. It got harder and harder with each mile – there were multiple steep inclines – body ached – it was hard. I did enjoy it though and will look for more trail races. Time was 3:07.
They had water/gatorade at mile 3.5, 6.5, and 10. The end of race food was: pizza, sub sandwiches, bananas, gatorade, and water. The pizza sure tasted good!!!