Trail 15k

Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been offline for a few weeks…I’ve been keeping up with everyone’s blogs, but I haven’t been running too much, so I haven’t felt like I had much to say. I realized that I haven’t updated everyone on my most recent race though!

Two weeks after the marathon was a half marathon in our area called the Purdue Half Marathon. I considered doing it because the medal is really cool, but instead I volunteered to lead the race on my bike. It was a neat experience! The only thing I was slightly disappointed about was that I was missing a local trail race. The runners club in our area, Wabash River Runners Club, holds a trail race series in the fall–the races are only $5! You might recognize the name of the club because they also host a Farmer’s Market 5k series which I often participate in. 🙂 Fortunately for me, they postponed the race, so it actually happened the following Saturday. I noticed on Friday that it was the next day and decided I would go.

The trail race had a 5k and a 15k, and I wasn’t sure which race I would run. On Friday night we went to some friends’ house and made apple pies and apple dumplings. They were super delicious, but accompanied by a little too much wine. 😐 I woke up in time to go on Saturday morning, and mostly felt ok, woo! I drove out there and as I was signing up I still didn’t know which race I would do. The lady asked me which race I was doing, and I paused…she then said, “The 15k it is!” ha. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that, but it was such a low-key race that it would be fun either way.

start-of-15k
Listening to instructions for the race. I’m back there in a blue shirt and purple shorts

As you can see, it was a pretty small group of us running the race. Once we heard instructions about the course, they grabbed the official iPad and said, “Go!”. Small races are funny. 🙂

start-15k
And we’re off!

The first section was through grass and leaves, which felt very difficult! I was running at a decent pace, but was already feeling like it was difficult. After about a half mile we finished our small loop on the grass and moved onto an actual trail. Thank goodness. 🙂 There was one girl running about at my same pace this whole time, so I stuck right behind her.

running-around-corner-15k
Feeling better now that we’re on a trail

Soon after this picture was taken, the trail narrowed into a small, single-track trail. There were some spots with rocks, and some points where we had to climb quite a bit. I was still following the girl in front of me, and there were two other girls right behind us.

Once we reached the 5k turnaround, the only girl in front of me turned around. I wasn’t positive about this fact until a few miles later when the first guys were coming back by me and one of them said, “First female! Go go go!”. This was an exciting prospect, but also put a lot of pressure on me. I felt a little sick at the beginning of the race (thanks, wine), but from miles 3-7 I was feeling pretty good. Around mile 8 we hit a large hill, and I started to feel pretty tired. I couldn’t see how close people were behind me, so I felt like I had to keep up my pace. I didn’t want to get passed when I had been the female leader the whole time! 😮 Soon enough, I was coming around the last corner of the course.

finishing-15k
Running into the finish line

Guys! Guess what?! I, for the first time ever, was the first female! I wasn’t super fast, so I know it was just because not many people came out for the race, but it was still really exciting! I was proud to do a little over 9 miles after not running much for the 3 weeks prior, and I am always happy to support the Wabash River Runners Club.

after-15k
Feeling happy (and thirsty) after the race!

This was a no frills race, so no t-shirt, medal, or top-finisher awards, which was fine with me! I would much rather only have to pay $5 for a race than 6x that to get a finishers medal and a t-shirt. Afterwards they had a cookout, so I ate a turkey dog and some potato chips before heading home. Fun morning! 🙂

Do you prefer big races or small races?
Does it bother you to not get a t-shirt or medal for races that you do?

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8 thoughts on “Trail 15k

  1. runningschlub

    Wow so cool. Small race or not, you ran hard, held pace, and finished as first female. Huge accomplishment.

    I like both, big races and small races. Big races have this crazy exciting vibe at them. And the small races have a real intimate feel to them that is cool. I try to mix in a bit of both.

    I don’t mind the t-shirt. I opt out of them if the option is there. I like the medal though. I have a run buddy I’m WI that I send them too. He loves them.

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    1. Thanks! I totally agree that it’s nice to participate in a combination of big and small races. Chicago was completely amazing because of all the runners and crowd support, but I liked this tiny little trail race as well. 🙂 How neat that you have a run buddy who you send your medals to!

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  2. Hanna @ minimal marathoner

    Congratulations!! That’s awesome! And don’t take away from your accomplishment – winning is still winning. You beat everyone who showed up. That trail looks beautiful by the way.

    I like bigger races because of the atmosphere, but I don’t mind not getting a medal or a shirt. One of my favorite half marathons, where I have PR’d twice, costs $12 and doesn’t give out shirts or finishers medals. Getting an official result and the satisfaction of knowing I PR’d (or just finished!) is enough for me. I do love my 26.2 medals, but I could do without the medals for anything shorter than a half, to be honest. I plan to donate most of mine to an organization that gives them to children in hospitals.

    I always opt out of the tshirt option, if possible. I wish more races would allow that, because I already have so many freakin tshirts. I like that more races are starting to get creative with their giveaways – I’ve heard of races giving out everything from pint glasses to flip flops in lieu of a shirt.

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  3. Thanks! Wow a half marathon for $12 is amazing!! I agree that I would have been bummed to not get a medal for my marathon–it feels like such a big accomplishment that it deserves a medal. 🙂 I am a little weirded out when they give out finishers medals at 5ks, although I’m sure it means a lot to many people, so I guess I understand why they do it!

    I’ve heard of races giving out things other than t-shirts, but I’ve never gotten anything else…I guess one race I did I got a hat in addition to the t-shirt which was cool. I think changing it up a little bit is a good idea for race organizers.

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  4. Congrats!!! That’s so awesome! I’m terrified of super small races because I am always afraid I will be the very last person to finish haha!

    When it comes to 5Ks and 10Ks I would rather pay $5 and not receive a shirt or medal. However, when it comes to the half or full marathon I like getting a shirt and medal to commemorate the experience. Plus I have a big medal display in my office at work that I like adding to! 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I was surprisingly intimidated by the small race. I haven’t done many trail races, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I agree with you about wanting 5ks & 10ks to be cheap/no frills, but wanting a little more for the half distance or higher. I like adding to my medal display too. 🙂

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  5. What fun, first female!! Congrats! Maybe wine should be the pre-race ritual in the future too? 🙂 I like running both small local races and a few bigger ones. Local running clubs are so great – I’m thankful we have a good one in my town and they put on a lot of events.

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