Hartville St. Patrick’s Day Trail Run 5K
Saturday March 11th
Quail Hollow State Park
Finish Time 23:38
2nd in 41-50 age division and 16th overall.
It was a cold and windy day at Quail Hollow State Park, but that didn’t stop over 200 runners and walkers from taking on the Hartville St. Patrick’s Day Trail Run 5K. The temperature was hovering around 5 degrees with steady winds but neither were much of a factor as the trail was protected by the thick woods that surrounded it. The course itself is primarily dirt primitive trails with a few short stretches of paved trail. There are some slight elevation changes but nothing drastic. The real challenge of this course is the winding ever changing direction of the trail and the footing. Usually this course is very muddy but this year the cold temperatures froze the mud making for very uneven and hazardous footing. It was difficult to enjoy the natural beauty of the park as you had to focus on the placement of each and every footstep to avoid possible injuries and hazards. The course winds around trees, past swamp lands, and over small snow covered wooden walkways to cross creeks before tracking back to the paved parking lot for the finish. The final part of the trail was the most hazardous. I had a runner on my back shoulder heading to the last decline of the trail before heading to the paved parking lot finish. I made the decision to be conservative and not risk injury on the small hill and the runner behind me shot right down the middle of the frozen muddy section passing me and eventually beating me by 4 seconds to win my age group. I knew slowing down would allow the runner to pass me but I didn’t want to risk sitting out the entire race season with a broken ankle. This was my first trail run race. I quickly learned trail running is much different than road races. It was a great learning experience and fun event. The race was well organized. Participants received tech shirts with a cool design and winners received custom awards made of stone and tiles.
So fresh and so clean.