My parents visited me this past weekend, and a visit from them wouldn’t be complete without running a race! We signed up for EX2 Adventure’s first race of their Fall Back Yard Burn Trail Running Series (http://www.ex2adventures.com/byb-fall.php). Each fall they have a series of trail races in the Northern Virginia area (either 5 or 10 miles). Race #1 was at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA, a venue new to both myself and EX2! It did nothing but rain constantly for the 4 days leading up to the race so I knew it was going to be a muddy one!
My parents and I have run races with EX2 before and we have always had a great time! This race was no exception. The course was marked off perfectly and whenever I needed it, a water station seemed to appear through the trees!
The three of us opted for the 10 mile race which ended up being 2 loops of the 5 mile course. The first loop was pretty slow. A lot of runners + a slick and muddy course = lots of bottle-necking! My Dad and I ran together almost the entire race and he got a kick out of my yelps and near-falls in the mud. We finished the first loop in just under one hour (which included passing all of the 5-milers eating their trail mix and bananas!) and went ahead to run the loop again! It felt like a completely different race the second time around. During the first half of the race I was constantly watching the runner’s feet in front of me, but during the second half I was on my own and had to be even more careful with my footing. My shoes did not provide much traction so there were several close calls and many times I had to grab on to trees or branches to prevent me from wiping out! The last 0.25 miles of the race may have been the muddiest – making it that much more gratifying to cross the finish line!
The three of us all finished within minutes of each other. We reconvened near the post-race snacks and waited for the awards to be announced. My Mom was the winner out of the 3 of us and finished 1st in her age group and walked away with a 1st place pint glass.
2013 Back Yard Burn Trail Race #1: Tara Tested; Tara, Mother, and Father approved! I would give this race a 10 out of 10. EX2 has once again organized a great race! The course was both beautiful and clearly marked. Aid stations were plentiful and the post-race snacks and prizes did not disappoint. Whether or not you are a novice trail runner or an experienced veteran, these trail races always provide a fun and challenging run! 🙂