It’s the holiday season and there is no better way to spend it than with good company doing things you love. So obviously I had to do lots of running. I also wanted to bring a very rough 2017 to a close on a positive note. Cue the magic word: Running. What better way to celebrate than back to back halves? One on trails, one on the road. One for the views, and one more for the speed. Both surrounded by our incredible running community.
I’d read good reviews of the FL.ROC Trails races, and Princess Place in Palm Coast sounded like a great place to run. Florida trails would of course be flat, and these particular ones were great novice trails. If you’ve never run a trail race before, this is a great course to introduce you to the beauty of trail running. You are missing out on something magical!
At race start, it was still a bit chilly for my liking, so I took the first lap of this two lap course a bit overdressed. At the end of my first lap, the pants and jacket came off and were stashed next to a tree where I could easily reclaim them after the run. I wasn’t the first nor the last to shed some layers, as by the end of my race many of the nearby trees were also markers for other runners clothing. Great minds think alike, right?
This year, some serious rainfall had necessitated a few short sections of ‘replacement trails’ (as the originals were submerged and this is neither a mud run or a river crossing trail run). The race staff did a great job of making sure the course was fully passable without swimming through the mud. Of course, anyone that chose to was more than welcome to get a little dirty. To the best of my knowledge, no one did. I was going easy today, so I certainly opted to stay dry. Todays run was all about the joy of running amidst natures beauty. I took my time, soaked it in and had a wonderful run. And for my bling loving friends: the finishers metal was quite badass! I personally prefer them a bit smaller, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this one was pretty sweet. It did have an eagle on it, so I’m sure that influenced my opinion, especially after meeting a few fellow Boston College Eagles at the race!
After my run was over, I bundled back up. It wasn’t exactly cold… but I’m a wimp these days when it comes to lower temperatures. Once I was done running, my body cooled down and I wanted that jacket back! Jogged over to my trusted tree, grabbed my gear, then hung out in that area cheering on all the other runners to their finish. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you want to hear inspiring stories and see serious mental grit, look to the back of the pack! Those folks always have a strong WHY to get them to the finish line, and I love doing what I can to support them.
Today’s run was definitely a success. This is how I wanted to remember 2017, and this is how I will. Despite it all, I’m still running… and loving it!