Here are some photos from this weekend! There was a little bit of Farmer's Market perusing, some tasty treats and my very first trail 10K!
^^view of the boats from the Burlington bike path
^^peach and cheddar stuffed bread. So delicious.
The 10K trail race was part of the Stowe Trail Race Series and had a 5.5K or 9.5K option. I signed up for the 9.5K (close enough, right?) and arrived a tad early for this teeny, tiny race. I think it was a mix of being a rural Vermont trail race, but the laid back vibe was great and I loved every second of it. After picking up my bib, my dad and I went to the convenience store for a cup o' joe for him and a chocolate glazed donut for me (last minute carbo-loading).
With 5 minutes to go all the runners gathered around the start area for a pre-race logistics talk from the race organizer. We were told that the 9.5K would be a second loop while the 5.5K runners would split off after the first loop towards the finish. Before I knew it we were off and running! The pack thinned out pretty quickly and I settled in behind Kelly, a woman I met earlier this week at the SkiRack Run Club (who also ran 75 miles last Saturday). The course was well marked, and followed a mix of old logging roads and wide hiking/cross country skiing trails. The first two miles were mostly uphill, but then we were rewarded with a nice winding downhill before the 5.5K split off.
At the halfway point I had lost sight of Kelly and had been running alone for over 10 minutes. I picked up the pace and inched closer to passing Kelly throughout the second loop. I caught up with her just before the second big hill and after a quick "hello" I powered up the hill while she stopped to walk (I'm amazed she is racing a week after 75 miles, but hey, she's an ultra runner). I spotted another woman up ahead and set my sights on catching up with her. I was able to pass her as she stopped to walk and spent the rest of the race running solo.
I only checked my Garmin a few times during the race (on the downhills of course, ha.) and really picked up the pace for the final mile as best I could (given the terrain). The funny thing about trail racing is that it feels like you're going so much faster than you actually are, but I did enjoy bounding over all the rocks and roots and just taking in the Mt. Mansfield scenery.
I crossed the finish line in 56:19, which I later learned was 19th overall for the 9.5K (out of 26 total, ha). After a couple of bagel slices and water we packed up the car and headed over the notch for the scenic route home! We stopped for some pastries and pie at the self-service pie shack in Underhill. Only in Vermont are strangers trusted to pay for specialty pies with the honor code. What a concept.