32 degrees. Windy. Snowing. Four mile race through the hilliest parts of Frick Park. "Nuts", you say? Perhaps I am. I’m glad I did it, though. It’s one of those "puts hair on your chest" events in life.
Considering the weather and the terrain, my time of 42:12 isn’t too bad. It works out to a 10:33 pace, which is about how fast I ran the Great Race. Of course, I definitely want to do better next year. In fact, I hope to be trained and ready for the eight miler by then.
Here’s a description of the course for those interested:
"The first mile of the course takes the runners across the grassy area and up the ravine [and up the Falls Ravine trail] to Riverview Extension trail, a very steep, rocky climb to the large fields off of Beechwood Boulevard and several hundred feet above the starting line. After making a large loop around the area, the runners then crash back down the trail they just climbed and return to the edge of the lower field completing about a 2 mile loop. The thinclads next proceed up the [Tranquil] trail toward the Forbes Avenue bridge. However, they detour [onto the Biddle trail] up a steep, narrow side trail that brings them near the western end of the bridge and then continue to climb a fair grade [up Nature or N. Clayton trail?] until they almost reach the Frick Park Nature Center. The runners then make a left turn and churn down through the ravine where they originally started, to reach the lower grassy field once again. This completes the first [4 mile] half of the race, since the [8 mile] runners are greeted to repeat the entire course they have just completed. Having to complete that second loop is a ‘gut-wrenching’ experience."
For some of us, just the second hill of the first loop was gut-wrenching. 😉