Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Running Blind

Wapack Trail Race
Four peaks four hours

It was a mad dash to the starting line…I pulled into the parking lot leaving myself only ten minutes to get organized! I hate starting the day off in a panic! Fortunately I was pre-registered because I didn’t even have time to check-in! About 59 people including myself showed up ready to run on this cold rainy and damp New England morning, pulling ourselves from our family, friends, labor day parties whatever our reason we were prepared to make the 18 mile trek through the rain, over the mud, roots and many many rocks. This race gets pinned right up there with my Boston Marathon finish it was only 18 miles but the trail was mainly single-track rough mountainous terrain requiring a strong presence of mind. About a mile or so into the race the screw that secures the lenses to my eyeglass frame fell out, now I was running blind! I’m near-sighted and after a while my eyes adjusted to the trail. I did the best I could and thankfully the trail was well marked with yellow arrows. With blurry vision and wet rocks I took a couple nasty spills, one fall I slipped in the mud and landed on my back sliding a few yards until I was abruptly stopped by a large rock…”oomph that hurt”, after tossing a few curse words around I went on my merry way. Once I became comfortable with the terrain and settled myself down after the hectic morning I found my rhythm. Unfortunately this was an out and back course so it's harder on the mind knowing you have to come back over the same terrain. I'm glad I brought some tunes for the run back which proved to be very helpful. With all the fog and rain I didn’t get to take pleasure in the surroundings, it was especially disappointing to reach the top of a peak and not be able to enjoy the panoramic views. On the last climb over Barrett Mountain I was wet, blind, tired, bloody, and muddy, but I could not have been happier. I certainly crossed the finish line with a smile, thanked the race director for a job well done, enjoyed some hot soup, changed into warm clothing and settled in the car for a long drive back down to the Cape. Upon returning to the Cape to spend the rest of the long weekend with my family, everyone had come to the conclusion I was crazy, I guess deep down you have to be little zany but I would prefer to call myself a passionate backwoods enthusiast =)

Shine on!