Mud & Chocolate Trail Half Marathon

This was a very hard race with a very sweet name. It was a trail race, so it was muddy. But this was not just any trail race, this one was the most technical I have ever run. According to the race website, it warns runners that it is imperative to watch our footing.

Before the race, I was oblivious to the perils of the trail. So guess what? I slipped about 4 times, and sprained my left ankle during the second loop. We had to run the loop 3 times, each loop being 4.5 miles. There were loose rocks, huge tree stumps, and tree branches. I didn’t expect the course to be that bad.

The trail was maybe wide enough for one person. On the second loop, several of the front-runners had to pass, so I found it really difficult to even move to the side. During the many times I did that, I almost lost my balance. It was very different than road racing.

Definitely, trail running is so much more adventurous, but also more treacherous. When I tripped, there was no runner in sight. You really have to get into a self-survival mode when you’re out there. I honestly admit I am a city-girl. Trail running to this degree is a little out of bounds for me. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun but this was a very different experience. I must say I’d choose road racing over trail racing if given the choice.

Now a little details about the race. It took place at the Soaring Eagle Regional Park in the city of Sammamish, Washington. The park is huge apparently, but the trail distance was about 12 miles. With our race, we basically cut through the forest, sort of “off-the-beaten path”. The route was single track as mentioned above, and very rolling. For a newbie trail-runner like myself, it was very challenging. Certainly not what I expected.

With each loop, volunteers recorded everyone’s time. Each loop was the same distance except on our last loop, we had to run a wee bit longer to the finish to fulfill the half marathon distance.

There were the 4.5 mile racers who started at 8:45am and we half marathoners started at 9am. I was surprised to find quite an attendance for both races. At the start of the race, the Race Director asked the fast runners to line up, and everyone kind of backed off. Hilarious!

The race coordinators were so thoughtful: the 4.5 milers got a medal made out of real chocolate (how fitting), and we got both the chocolate medal as well as a real medal. See attached pictures. Aren’t they cute?? J

These 2 medals were well-deserved. Despite the pain I felt from running on my sprained ankle, to even the day after, I wouldn’t have changed my mind on this race.

Now, I just have to let my ankle heel. It’s hard to walk and taking the stairs only aggravate the strain more. I am following the R.I.C.E. remedy method for now. I don’t know when I’ll heel, I just hope soon.

As I always compare running to life, this is just a temporary set-back. Each time I come back from an injury, I am stronger. Hopefully, this time is no different.

I am rewarding myself with my chocolate medal once I get better. That’s my own bribe to take care of my injury. I can’t wait to taste that chocolate!!!

To close, these are the words of wisdom I want to share with all of you: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks” – John Muir

Until my next race!

chocolate medal

chocolate medal

chocolate medal - made out of real chocolate!

chocolate medal – made out of real chocolate!


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