Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Race Report : The Legend Trail Half Marathon

August 2nd was the Running Fit Legend trail race.  I had been planning on camping there Friday night and running the 5 mile race in the morning to complete the "serious series".  However, my stupid boyfriend who was supposed to be my camping buddy forgot that he had to work on race day, and bailed on me a few days before the race.  So, despite already paying $20 or so to camp, I decided to just stay home Friday night and make the 1.5ish hour drive in the morning.

When I got there, the weather was cool and beautiful.  I had been doing lots of fast running recently (again, thanks to the damn bf pushing my pace.  Boys ruin everything :P ), and the thought of going balls out for a 5 mile trail race after all the fast running I had already done that week just didn't sound appealing.  So I transferred my registration to the half marathon after I arrived on race morning.

I ended up wasting lots of money on this race, what with the transfer fee and the wasted camping money.  It ended up costing me $100 total, even though registration for just the half would have only been like $45 or something if I had actually planned properly.  Oh well.

I had never run a trail race over 5 or 6 miles, so this was something new!  I had heard before hand that the trail wasn't particularly technical, nor was it terribly hilly, so I figured it would be a good first trail half.  The only downside was that the course apparently gets wet/muddy when it rains, but it had been dry in Ann Arbor for quite some time leading up to the race, so I thought I'd gotten lucky on that front as well (spoiler alert: just because it didn't rain in Ann Arbor, doesn't mean that it didn't rain in Laingsburg).

I didn't have a goal at all for this race.  I just wanted to run and have fun.  Wasn't really planning on "racing", but of course that sometimes just happens in the heat of the moment :)

The 5 mile race started first, followed by the 10 mile and 13.1 milers.  I got a video of the 5-mile start.

They lined us up (or attempted to) by pace behind the start line.  I lined up at around 9:00-9:30 min/mile.  I took off at a comfortable jog at the start.  I didn't want to make the same mistake I made at Flirt with Dirt where I went out way to fast and was way too aggressive with passing people.  At this race I only passed people when it was blatantly obvious that I was having to slow down to stay behind them.  If it was borderline I didn't make a move.

I ended up running in front of a couple from Fenton and we chatted for a good bit of the first part of the course.  It made the beginning go really fast.  We're facebook friends now :) Runners are the best.

As for the was mostly flat and not very tricky footing-wise, as had been was SOOOO muddy!  Apparently it had rained all day Friday in Laingsburg.  There were puddles and sinking soft mud pits and places where there was no traction at all.  It was fun though!

One of the worst mud crossings of the day.  Picture by Michelle Monroe
I didn't carry my phone, and don't have my own pictures of the course, but DetroitRunner took some, as did Michelle (@MichelleKMonroe on Twitter).  Michelle was kind enough to allow me to share her photos, which you can access here:  As you can see, the course was actually quite lovely when you weren't crawling through pits of mud!

I was a muddy mess by the end of the race!  (During the race, I actually scratched my leg on some brush while passing a dude, and had blood running down my leg in addition to all the mud, which seemed super bad ass, but my sweat washed all the blood off before I could get a pic.  Bummer).

Ended up getting 2nd place in my age group and just a schoche over 2 hours on my first trail half!  (2:00:17).  
At the start of the day, the shoes were blue and the legs were white!  ;)  Schwag, clockwise from left: age group award glass, half marathon finisher medal, serious series finisher glass, serious series finisher medal. 
Thanks to Detroit Runner (Jeff) for taking the photos of me! 
After the race I realized I should have brought a change of clothes.  And a swimsuit so I could get in the lake.  I at first thought I was out of luck, but then remembered the "emergency gym bag" I keep in my car.  Unfortunately I had failed to restock it after I last used it, so I didn't have clothes, but I did have swimming stuff and a clean pair of shoes in there!  I hopped in the lake to rinse off, which felt amazing because it had gotten quite warm by this time.  Then I headed home.  In my bathing suit.  And stopped at a gas station wearing a swimsuit and sneakers.  Because I'm super classy.

So...I had fun at this race! I probably won't do it again, just because it's a little far away for my taste, and for what it is, but I could be convinced if I had people coming with me.  In terms of the Serious Series, the Trail Marathon (I did the 5 mile) in April was definitely my favorite, followed by this one, and last was Flirt with Dirt in Novi.  I really did NOT like Flirt with Dirt.  Enough that it will keep me from doing the Serious Series again.  I will definitely do the Trail Marathon in the future though.  Next year I think I'll do the half there instead of the 5 miler.

Still, I got lots of schwag at this race since it was the final one in the Serious Series.  The shirt I don't love (white; yuck), but it fits well so I will wear it, at least around the house or to bed.

Modeling the shirt and PJ shorts and tired eyes :P 
Close up of the Serious Series finisher medal. 
Close up of the Legend Half Marathon finisher medal. 
And with that, I complete this blog post.  Somebody give me a pat on the back or a cookie or something for writing a post! Please stay tuned, as I'm dogsitting at my ex-husband's this week and may be cranking out all the blog posts I haven't written over the past month or two.  They may come two-a-day.  Or more. 


  1. Even though it wasn't billed as one, it sounds like this turned into quite a mud run. It's not too often that you hear someone say they've been running too hard lately so they're going to switch UP in distance. I know where you're coming from with the harder pacing for the five, but the idea of it still seems kind of funny. :) I'm glad it all worked out and you enjoyed it, and congrats on the age group placing! I like the cool glasses and medals.

  2. Great job!!! That sounds like fun - minus the distance :)


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