Over the weekend, I had another chance to get outdoors in the form of a trail race. Sunday morning was the Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon & Squirrelly Six Mile at Thatcher State Park. First let me start by saying that Thatcher is one of my favorite local state parks. It’s about a half an hour drive, but every single time I’m there, I wonder why I don’t go there more often. The views are amazing and I always feel like the sun just shines differently at Thatcher. I’ve had some good picnics, hikes and trails runs there.
Any way, when the opportunity came up to run in place of another friend with a stress fracture, I jumped on it. I then jumped on recruiting other friends to not only run, but to work on a costume with! So I rounded up some peeps and we began a conversation about what the right costumes to run a trail half marathon might look like. And the conversation went on and on all week until I was finally able to force a consensus on Thursday when we settled on the three blind mice. Then there was the mad dash for props, gloves, glasses, etc.
The weather on Sunday morning was chilly at home. I got dressed in some warm layers and started my drive out to the park. As I did, I realized the that temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up. It was going to prove to be a chilly race. On my way up into Thatcher I stopped at the overlook for a few quick pictures as the morning sunshine was just beautiful.
Nothing like beautiful sunlight on a chilly morning!
I got to the parking lot and met up with my fellow mice. We took our time as we assembled our costumes in the car. It was cold, cold, cold. We also had a few minor mishaps with a broken headband, a cut mouse nose and who knows what else, but we survived.
Trying to stay warm and look excited… Ha!
We mulled around the start line with some of our other friends, most of whom were not in costume I might add. At 9:30 the race went off. As a trail run, it’s always more challenging than a road run. Add some single track and a big crowd in there and there was definitely some walking. Unfortunately, I was having some sort of issue with my calves being seriously tight, especially on the uphills, which there were plenty of. This caused us to walk a bit of the first couple of miles. Once we hit some flats and downhills I was good to go. We took our time, chatted and perused the chocolate at the aid stations. Little did we realize that there was a cut-off time for the half marathon… We were utterly shocked when we got to the finish area for the squirrelly six and weren’t allowed to go on to finish the half because we had missed the cut off. Oh if only we had known, I can guarantee we would have been there in time! We made the best of it by holding hands and heading for the finish line. Even if we didn’t get to run the half marathon, we ran an uber fun Squirrelly Six. I highly recommend this race as it’s a great venue, lots of great decorations and you get a gorilla as your medal for finishing. Don’t worry Hairy Gorilla, I’ll be back! 😉
Our Finish Line Shot!