It’s the end of July and this is recap number 6 for the year. Significantly below that which I have come to expect, and yet this race eclipses my total for 2020’s race (and everything else) COVID-shortened activity year. That said in the 5 races I did last year, the distance covered was 66.7 miles. If we include the unofficial “Bill’s Fat Ass Challenge” at the end of the year as race 6, we’d be talking about 98.7 miles.
With this race, I’m at just under 54-miles in racing. Kind of tells the story of my running year thusfar.
Historically, this race series – run in June, July, and August – tracks the same course each race, each series. Then came COVID and the world’s wheels collectively came off. Things aren’t always as they were when they come out of their cocoon, and the Woodland Trail Series is no different. This year, each race is being run on a different course, with the August race being run on a truncated course to make more time for the post-race, season finale BBQ.
I have to say, I’m not a big fan of July’s course. Mile 3 was heavy on serpentine bike trails: tight switchbacks that I’m sure would be fab on a bicycle, weren’t my hips’ or back’s favorite. Mile 2 was a newly cut trail, so it was very soft and squishy making it a little more difficult to maintain effort.
TVFR – Tri-Valley Front Runners – does a nice job with the series and they are an all volunteer organization but they have some funky rules: to be on their Facebook page, they require your membership. How do you police that? Why? I was on there for a year or so when I got a message from an admin asking me if I was going to join or they’d remove me. Seriously? The results and pictures may be available there, but that’s not terribly helpful to non-members.
Interestingly enough, I finished right in the middle of the pack in 26th, after losing the 25th position to a kid in an all out sprint to the finish. I forgot the finish line wasn’t where it had historically been, went HAM a little too soon and got smoked by this kid. It was definitely a challenge for me but I am clearly no longer 15 years old. All in all, it’s a really good race series, inexpensive and a nice challenge.