Peg and Jake tame the trails with some dirty racing


GC screen shot PEG: Too bad that cold breeze wasn’t enough to turn the sloshy trail into something more of a solid state. When we hit the bridle trail early in the race, it was already a thick, oatmealy texture due to the 100+ runners who started a little earlier for their 20- or 30-mile jaunt. Since we’d started near the back of the pack, Jake and I did our best to weave through runners and hounds early on. After about 20 minutes of dodging bodies, branches and boulders, I was breathless and my Forerunner 405 reminded me that my heart rate was already averaging 155. Looking back to our race in Garmin Connect, it was no wonder that second mile felt worse than mile 20 in a marathon — we’d climbed more than 350 feet.

JAKE: It’s not the 350-foot climb in brownie batter that jarred me – until later – it’s looking at my tracklog on Garmin Connect and seeing how, from the 2.75-mark to the 3.5-mile mark, we actually only progressed 10 feet. That’s why people love (and loathe) trail running – you can run around in circles, tackling ankle-breaking switchbacks, only to come back to the opposite side of the aid station you saw long before. And all of it can get pretty disorienting, which is why it’s nice to know that our Forerunners could lead us back to start – or a warm vehicle – if necessary. But because the KC Trail Nerds marked the path so nicely, I only relied on the GPS in my Forerunner 310XT to track distance, pace, elevation and auto-lapped splits (I guess that’s still asking it to do a lot).

Psycho start3 PEG: Lest you label Jake and me members of the Techno Trail Nerd subgroup, let me just say we weren’t alone with our data-logging devices. Check out this photo of the start. It’s as if the race director yelled “ready, set, start your Forerunners …”  Love seeing that many of our fitness devices at races and I’m sure the 30 other Garmin folks racing that day took note as well. We had runners representing many faces of Garmin — from the lone 50kers in our group, engineers Kurt and Jon, to a few from industrial design who perfect the look and feel of our devices to Tom, hardware engineer who makes sure our fitness devices are as rugged as any mud-loving trail nerd would desire. Top participation honors go to Garmin’s product support folks for having several runners there … and a camera to document our clean start.

Jake finish Peg finish JAKE: Too bad they weren’t there to catch my dirty finish. While heading out on my own for a precarious finishing kick – speed isn’t smart without traction – I deftly descended a slippery hill and hopped the trickling water at the bottom. I just kept assuming there would be some firm ground for a landing. Instead, a hungry patch of mud swallowed my leg, choked on my shoe and only spit out my socked foot. So there I was, stopped in midstride on one leg, trying to unearth my stuck shoe. When those efforts proved futile, I buried my socked foot in the sludge, freed the shoe (now filled to the brim with mud) and returned it to its proper place on my foot. A quarter-mile of squishy strides later, I crossed the finish line, but not before catching one of the passersby who had wished me well in the quicksand by saying, “At least you have a good story to tell.” As if I’ve ever had a shortage of those.

Mayfield finish Kurt loves mud Price finish PEG: Jake promised we'd keep it clean, but blogging integrity must prevail. We finished this race stinky, sloppy and starving. And that was after just one loop. Hats and mud-caked shoes off to the folks who stuck it out for a second or third loop. Read about the first-place finisher in the 50k, who posted a time of 4 hours, 15 minutes. And stay tuned for Jake and Peg’s next excellent adventure. We're planning to Rock the Parkway right here in KC on March 27. Join us!

The post Peg and Jake tame the trails with some dirty racing appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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