Monday, November 19, 2007

Race Report: Living History Farms

Oh, my gosh, Internet. That was so much fun!

The Living History Farms race is really not a race as it is a fun run. The atmosphere before the race could only be described as a party. Costumes abound: pirates, bees, Disney princesses, men in drag, a guy wearing nothing but a loincloth, superheroes, people wearing regular running clothes, but with a tutu, homemade Dunder Mifflin Fun Run shirts. Everyone was there to have a good time.

I'd also describe this as more of a fun run because, thanks to the number of people out there and some pretty small paths, there were parts where I couldn't have run if I wanted to. Any ideas about race pace were out the window; it was all about going out and having a good time.

I actually ran into a couple of people I knew while I was running - hi, Amy! Hi, Kent! That added to the festive air of the day.

Amy took a picture of me. It's before the first mile, so I'm looking fresh and clean:

The first few miles were pretty standard for a trail run. I was actually starting to feel a bit warm in my sweatshirt, pants, and hat. But then, jumping into the very first icy cold creek suddenly made me quite comfortable, albeit a bit swampy in my shoes. I crawled my way up the creek bed, looked down, and saw that my race number was completely covered in mud!

The rest of the race was a similar adventure. I climbed over giant piles of compost, leaped over logs, used trees for leverage, and jumped into creek after creek. There were hills that were so steep and so muddy that had it not been for the two ropes, I don't know how I would have climbed them.

At about the five mile mark, runners had to make a decision. One path was longer, but easier. The second was shorter, but harder. That's what she said. Anyway, I went with short and hard. I'd come all that way - might as well get my money's worth. I'm glad I did, because it was just so much fun.

I finished with a time of 1:33:46, a whopping 1,495th place, 162nd for my age group. I'm sure I could have run faster, since I had a ton of energy left when it was over, but that really wasn't the point.

Post race, there were piles and piles of doughnuts, the finest I have ever eaten, despite the fact that I discovered there was dirt in my mouth. There was also the entertainment that came in when it was time to change clothes. My sweatshirt was a muddy mess. My pants were caked in mud, especially the butt, since I found it effective to slide into some of the creeks. My formerly white socks are still grey, no matter how many times I've washed them. I wore my marathon shoes and threw them away after the race. They were shot anyway, and this allowed me to give them a warrior's funeral.

Without a doubt, I will run this non-race again. I hope there are pictures!


newsjunkie said...

That sounds awesome!

I'm about to retire the shoes I wore in the half marathon. It's a bit sad. Fortunately my shoes are on sale at Sports Authority this week and there's no tax on clothing in NJ so I'll be heading to the store tomorrow when I get to my father's house.

Ted said...

COOL !!! I am jealous. I would love to participate in this kind of cross country race. This is something that I am looking for. Hmmm.. I have relatives in Iowa and I could join that next year. Awesome !!!

Jess said...

That's really interesting that the race gave you two paths: such an existentialist race! It must've been eithe rlike a Choose Your Own Adventure or like Frost's poem "The Road Less Traveled." can you tell I teach English? Everything seems literary to me.

Kent said...

It was great seeing you too, and I did eventually find my lost daughter. I waited about 10 minutes at the first water stop, and she eventually ran up. (I apparently can't tell my daughter from behind as I past her.) We came in after you -- crossing the finish line in 1:55, but it was her first over 2 miles. The hs cross country now thinks he has a new recruit for next year.

I agree the Dunder Mifflin t-shirts were awesome.

Marcy said...

OMG HOW COOL!! That sounded like an awesome race :-) You look so happy!! ;D ;D

Non-Runner Nancy said...

What a woman!! I keep trying to think about this as fun but something is holding me back. Not sure why but it doesn't seem to appeal to me. Maybe I should just do it once and then decide. :D Great job and great attitude.

Amy said...

So wish we could have run together - maybe next year. I have been trying to talk the race sponsor into having a big bonfire at the end so our shoes can have a proper and honorable burial - versus tossing them in the can.

Topher said...

Awesome report. I so wish it would have worked with my schedule to come up and run this year. Definitely next year. What, now post race pics? Those seem to be the fun ones. Hope someone ate a donut for me.