Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wildwood Trail Half Marathon

My second half marathon this year.

Let's run it wild style !!

"Zebra Man" is the theme I pick up for this race. I am wearing my new running shorts from Runningfunky, put the obligatory feet and face paint on and finish decorating with some bear claw bracelets and anklets. The transformation looks complete.

Feet paint

Zebra Man ready to race

About 250 runners queuing for the start on a narrow gravel forest path.
"I hope you have your tweezers and antiseptic with you" someone from the packet pickup line jokes about my bare feet.
I have no worries. Trail is mostly hard packed soil/dirt with some gravely sections and it has not seen a shard of glass in ages.

We climb 600 feet up in one mile right after the start. I feel slow, breathing heavily. Turnaround, running the same hill down. I know this is my time to show off. I am flying down, passing a nice bunch of runners now.
Next 6 miles slowly climbing 925 feet up. Water station and turning back. Knowing I am half way done and it is only downhill all the way to the finish line bring a surge of new energy.

I start paying less attention to the ground and it immediately fires back. Running really fast downhill, the path is nice and clear. Then all of a sudden one root decides to peek out of the ground right in front of me. Big thump on my forefoot. Flying down forward, landing on my hands and knees. I am really shocked (and happy at the same time) the foot is OK. I do not even notice the little scratch under the knee until 5 minutes later someone in the finish line points down to my leg with big Ooooo..OUCH!!.

Taking shortcut on the way back


Got many comments along the way. All positive and encouraging, people are really friendly.
One girl wants to see bottoms of my feet after the race.
Some people are still having hard time imagining running barefoot doesn't hurt.

Quite the opposite actually. It is natural.

Feet after the race all dusty
Race stats:

Distance  13.1 miles
Time  01:56
Total elevation change  1,850 feet
Placed   6th in my AG (65 out of 250 overall)

Race course

Race course

Elevation profile

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