This past Sunday was Red Top Rumble, my one trail race for the year (as much as I love running trails, I’ve not run as many races on trails – maybe the reason is outlined here). In the 11.5 miles of mostly solitude, I had time to reflect on the race and stuff and and learnt somethings about myself.

Red Top Rumble

Always show up, even if you don’t want to

I woke up at 5:45am to downpour and radar showing no letting up until noon. My mind was almost made up to bail on the race, but Barry and Barbara were going to give it a game time decision and so I tagged along. It surprisingly stopped raining just as the race was about to start, even as it was pouring minutes before at packet pickup. While I still had my doubts, I’m glad I didn’t bail. I put my tiara visor on and went for it (because du’h, doesn’t a tiara make everything better?)

Radar screenshot borrowed from a friend’s post.

Red Top Rumble

Plenty of crazies showed up! Misery, I mean having fun, loves company.

Red Top Rumble

Red Top Rumble

Don’t follow me. No really, don’t.

Now, I’m a solid back of the packer. There is no way I’m getting in front of people. But as it happens when you stop for photos and chatter and stripping off extra layers, I found myself ahead of about 7 people after the first aid station. And I followed the trail and the blue ribbons, very careful not to cross over any! We were surprised to see one of the volunteers heading towards us with a trash bag and she asked us if we were ready to be done. Oh hell no! But that also meant we went off the track and she had no idea how to get us back. We went back up, but then every trail path looks the same when you have no clue where to go!

Finally Barbara found the little off path to take us on to the correct race trail. To my annoyance, it was the exact same place I’d gone off track last year. Except this time, I had added on more mileage that I’d wanted to.

Red Top Rumble
A whole extra loop added on

In real life, I’m great at directions and reading maps, but something about this trail race makes my mind go blank and I end up missing directions.

Red Top Rumble

I hold on to embarrassment for a very long time

After I went down the wrong path and 7 others followed me, I was embarrassed and mad. So much that I took off without a word to others and before I knew it, I was all alone on the trails. Not the best idea when you are already lost once and there is strength in numbers, but if I got lost again atleast I’d be responsible only for myself.

So happy to see Joy and be back on track – I’d already lost most of the people I was with at that time. The runners behind were headed back to the finish.

Red Top Rumble

There’s a reason I haven’t tried obstacle races

And it’s not just because I can’t do the obstacles. I don’t deal with mud and squelch. There were places where the cold water was a tad more than ankle deep and then when we were passing through them, the muddy monster would grab on to my shoes and try to stick me into the ground! A few puddles are great fun for me to splish-splash in but full on streams of trails, not yet.

That stream – actually a trail path. You were supposed to run IN it.

Red Top Rumble

BOP parties

Even though I’d surged ahead of the little group I was lost with, I still am very much a back-of-pack (BOP) runner. I came a little past the official cut-off time (even though they included us in the results), I was 12th from bottom in a field of 180, last year was 10th from bottom in a field of 339. Common factor – countable placement from the bottom. Momentarily putting aside all thoughts of how I’ve cemented my place in the BOP, I gave the last 3 miles a good attitude and a fair try, we all had fun and pushed through some rough patches, literally.

It was great to see fast runners go by and plenty of friendly faces, given that we had done that extra loop of getting lost. And cheers from the ITL group and ultra group at the end.
Red Top Rumble

Shutting down the finish line

Red Top Rumble

All in all, could’ve been better, but for a day that started out with me not wanting to run the race, it was a lot fun to slip and slide through the trails and enjoy the camaraderie of the running community.

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These are some of the weekly linkups hosted by great bloggers. Check out some of the posts in the linkups.

Monday
Meatless Monday – Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands
Tuesday
Tunes Tuesday (first Tuesday of the month) – KookyRunnerRun With No Regrets and RunSteffRun
Tuesdays on the Run –No Guilt LifeMCM Mama RunsMarcia’s Healthy Slice
Wednesday
Running Coaches Corner – Running on HappySuz LyfeCrazy Running Girl and Coach Debbie Runs
Friday
Friday Five 2.0 –Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness
Sunday
Weekly Wrap up – HoHoRuns  and Taking the Long Way Home

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Red Top Rumble Race Report
  • Trail races are tough enough without the rain! Nice job

  • I’d like to try a trail run, but I’m with you on the mud. I can see how easy it would be to get off track. I imagine you have to pay attention, which is hard when you’re watching your footing and trying to run. Great job!

  • Oh gosh. the mud had to have been terrible if it had been raining like crazy before the race. I hope those were old shoes LOL Great job for sticking with it…the whole getting lost thing would have freaked me out.

  • Angela Epolito Lewis

    Great job! It looked like you had a great time! Some times the best adventures are the ones off the beaten path!

  • Nice job! Great that it stopped raining! I’ve ran only one trail race so far and I thought it was tough and this was in the Summer. So much tougher with mud and all.

  • Way to go! What a bummwe about getting lost again. You still looked like a happy runner!

  • Jennifer Pug Pug

    I don’t know that I would have been down for a muddy trail race. I hate the dirt and the soggy squelch, too. Nothing sounds more miserable than that. However, it’s always nice to get out there and overcome something you despise.

    I’m sorry you got lost. I can just imagine how that must have made you feel 🙁 Trails are tough that way. I don’t run trail races as often as I would like –

  • Aisa

    Aw. Sorry you got lost and people were behind you. I honestly feel just fine being BOP. I just follow. Running isn’t my strength or even something I enjoy so I muddle along miserably or just being silly and making jokes with my hubby who sometimes just goes slow with me. Hopefully your original followers weren’t too upset. P.S. I don’t wanna run through mud either.

  • I have no doubt I’d get disoriented in the thick woods and go off course! I think you did an excellent job in those muddy and slippery conditions. I can’t imagine having to run in the streams (that were actually trails). Thanks for linking!

  • Nicole Renee

    I want to start getting into trail racing, but I have heard the courses are hard to follow at times! I would have gotten lost, too!

  • Clarinda

    Our trails out here in Vegas are so different! I’m not so good with the muddy trails. lol When it comes to trails, though, I’m definitely a BOP’er as well. 🙂

  • Kathryn Thayer

    Kudos to you on getting out there in that nasty weather. I’m sure that the weather played into the fact that you got lost since you had to divide your attention even more than you would have to had the weather been better.

  • Good for you! I would have trouble getting out in that kind of weather too. I also feel pretty confident I would get lost as well. Maybe I should run with you so we can just be lost together!