My 2017 event calendar is partially complete. Well, a little complete. I have the USA Indoor Nationals in Snellville and the ASA Pro/Am events inked. The Indoor Nationals, and ‘A’ event, is where I hope to take back my 2015 win in the South and out perform my 2016 second place finish.
There are a lot of archery tournaments. There are also a lot of other races. In 2016 I missed a number of the other races because archery took priority. Nevertheless, I get some nice finishes racing bicycles and running.
There is one race I’ve have been wanted to run for a few years. That is the Xterra ½ Marathon Trail Run World Championship. Trail running is a blast. Seriously, running through the woods is fun. I’ve even cut a trail run circuit in the woods across from my house to practice.
Trail running is a bit tougher than running on the road. Footing is a major factor. The ground tends to be uneven compared to a nicely paved road. I wouldn’t attempt another long race off road without off road several test races in my legs.
I looked at the 2017 Xterra Off Road calendar for 2017. So many races and so little time – much of that time being already locked in with archery. One of the really great ones is in Georgia a few miles from my oldest daughter’s home. Her place is a perfect location to spend the night before the race, get up, drive over, run, then come back and shower. I’d done just that a couple of years ago. It’s the: XTERRA GEORGIA “THRILL IN THE HILLS” – HALF MARATHON TRAIL RUN.
It is a very tough race and hilly. The race, just north of Athens, in February is cold. On race day when I ran it was cold and rainy. River, my dog, came along on the race and warmed up with me. She waited in the truck while I ran the race.
I say ‘ran’ with reservation. The rain mixed with the Georgia red clay made the ½ marathon more like a 13.1-mile slide. I didn’t win and ended up 6th. If I’d spent more time running rather than falling down I might have come up a place or two. It seemed the faster I tried to run the harder I slid down. I finished wet, red (from the clay) and bruised. It was a blast.
Sadly, that race and the ASA Hoyt Pro/AM are the same weekend. I’ll have to keep looking and see what other races might help prepare me for the bigger race in December of 2017. That is, if I can get fit enough to run an off road half marathon with some of the fastest trail runners in the world. If not, there are plenty of races to satisfy.