The TMR TNR (Trail Monster Running Tuesday Night Run) is run on a 5.5 mile loop on trails built for X-C skiing at Twin Brook Recreation Area in Cumberland. We run the same course every week until snow falls. The trails are wide, non-technical with few natural obstacles, a fairly soft surface and lots of small rolling hills. Apart from one short stretch of a perpetual mud pit leading to a stream crossing the trails are dry. Great for trying out minimalist footwear which is what I was doing tonight, but I can't say too much about that right now...
The hills really aren't that big.
This week I was recovering from the Mtn Epic race at Sunday River, a crazy 12 mile mountain run that absolutely trashed my quads. For that race I wore my Inov-8 Mudroc 290, I needed something with good grip and just a little cushion under the heel for the many miles of downhill running. My plan was to take it easy this Tuesday night, but once I got going things loosened up and I felt good. Our average pace was right around a 9 minute mile until we hit the first of 3 sprint lines. I initially had no intention of sprinting tonight but after about 2.5 miles I felt really good so decided to go for it. I won the first sprint, about 2/10th of a mile up a gradual hill, probably because no one else was trying, I don't usually win sprints.
By the time we reached the second sprint line at 4 miles it was very dark in the woods and I took off despite not having a head lamp. I won this sprint too, this time because I'm probably the only one who knows the trails in the dark well enough to run fast. By the time we reached the third sprint line which finishes up the final 1/4 mile of the run on dirt road I had pretty much run out of quick leg turnover and the others could actually see well enough to run fast so I finished further back in the pack.
distance: 5.5 miles
conditions: mostly dry trails except for the usual mud hole
weather: mid 50's, dark
gear: can't say what I had on my feet, shorts + t-shirt