One of the most fun times of the year is when the 4th Season Trail Series kicks into gear. For those of you not familiar its a series of fairly nutty "suffer-fests" that range in distance from 5k to Half Marathon and take place down in South Country during the winter months. The Rhode Runner Squad typically takes part in full force and we kicked it off this season with a victory on the Mens side down at the Resolution Beach "5k".
So I pull up to the parking lot and check out the temp in my car and its close to 20 degrees so I know its going to be a chilly run for sure. The waves are crazy big so immediately goal number one becomes don't fall in the ocean. The folks who run the event are always awesome and super organized giving out bib numbers and marking the course. We had an awesome contingent of Rhode Runner Club members too so it always make the race a bit more fun when your friends are around! We even had a few brave souls from our Beginning Runner Group last season make it out! There were a few folks who have been injured and it was great to see them out there cheering folks on!
I tried to time it out so I wouldn't have a ton of time to hang around before the race started, I had a brief chat with a few club members then decided to run the course as a warmup to get a lay of the land. I actually ran into Steve Brightman and we noticed when we got back that we did a 2.5 mile run...interesting...
start of the race
on your marks
get set. cold. I mean go!
The start of the race was switched up this year and we spent a lot less time on the beach, which I most definetly preferred. There wasn't much wind but when it did get moving it certainly made our run a little more difficult, I'm glad we got off the beach and into the trails fairly quickly. The sand was frozen in certain parts and so it was easy to get moving quickly there were some tricky stream crossings on the beach and figuring out exactly where to cross them was a little tough but I managed to get through without getting completely soaked. After the beach we took a left and headed into the dunes and then through the trails.
the middle bit
The best part of these races is how well marked they are. My race strategy the first season I took part was to sit right behind someone and try to out-kick them so as not to get lost. But I quickly found out that Mike does a great job with his flags and arrows and all you need to do is follow the orange flags. This course the trails were a little rough as it looked to be newly cleared when we first entered them. I was able to make a strong move through a few corners in hopes of separating (not sure how well it worked!) There were some definite icy patches on this part of the course and staying to the edge was the only way to get through without slipping and eating it hard. The feet got a little wet at this point but thats par for the course! There was one slipping incident for myself when we got into the 2way section just to avoid running into folks but I was able to stay upright which is always the ultimate goal! After that we were through the house and back onto the beach!
takes the more manly route
The old house is where the Resolution Beach 5k gets even more fun! This year we detoured to avoid either slipping and falling or falling through a ginormous Ice chunk. We took a hard right out of the side door of the house and made our way down the rock wall and over the biggest water jump of the day. I took a look around to see if there was anyone real close before getting to this section because it can be a little tricky. I took the longer route of using the rocks to cross the water but managed to stay dry! The finish on the beach is always rough because it feels like it will never end, since we ran the same part in the beginning though it helped make it a bit easier to cross the streams on the way to the finish.
Maybe because its comprised of foods I don't normally consume but the after race spread is fantastic! Cookies, Soda, Pizza, Hot Chocolate, Soup all sorts of goodies for folks to indulge in. The prizes are awesome too I ended up with an Ice Scraper Mitten for scraping the car in the winter (very practical) and the team snagged a 15 pack of 21st amendment IPAs, can't beat that! Its always fun to hang out after the run too as we get to touch base with some of the other awesome running clubs in the State. WTAC and TNT were well represented down there and its always good to catch up with those folks!
Although the race was freezing cold and there was ice and water and jumping and slipping and wet feet and sand and all that, its always a blast. Its the uncomfortable things that make the race all the more enjoyable, you really get to know the other runners as you chamiserate over all the obsticales in your way on the race course! Oh and it doesn't hurt that the race actually ended up being 2.5 miles...though I heard it may get tacked on to the Old Mountain Race in February!
See you out on the Rhode! Or the Trail!