For various reasons I'm finding that I don't have a lot of time for running these days and even less time to write about it. A lot of my time outside of work is spent getting ready for the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge on the 24th.
Last Saturday I decided to do a complete run of the race course to make sure there weren't any surprises lurking out there in the fields. I've been running most of the trails at Pineland over the past few weeks but skipping out the fields. Since the grass is starting to get tall I needed to get out there before it got too hard to run through.
We started out with a big group from the YMCA and went out just as the race goes. When we got to the Yurt and the first major field section a few folks decided to stick to the trails but most came along exactly as the race course goes. Since the fields tend to be most peoples least favorite part of the race I think it's good to remind yourself exactly what to expect out there, but I guess some want as little field running as possible. I have to say that I really don't think it's bad. The crew at Pineland did a great job mowing last year and even picked up all the grass cuttings with a bailer on the back of their tractor.
I was glad to find the whole race course in great condition. The fields were pretty wet, but that was to be expected with the recent rain we'd had. No big problem. Most of the trails are totally dry. The Valley Farm loop, 4.5 to 6.5 miles into the 25k loop, is more rugged and muddy than in previous years and will probably stay that way until the race.
I wish I was running the race!!
distance: 15.5 miles
weather: mid 60's, sunny
conditions: mix of dry trails, some muddy spots, wet fields
gear: Inov-8 Roclite 295, wool socks, shorts, t-shirt (first 10), hat, Nathan handheld bottle