Two days before the race I get this note from the race organizers...
"Thank you for registering for the Hit the Trail with Faith 5K and 10K. The race starts at 8:30, please pick up your bib, shirts and timing chip (if applicable)between 7:30 & 8:00 on race day. Both distances are out and backs. There is one water station for the 5K at the turn around point. There is a water station at the 10K turn around in addition to passing the 5K water station twice. The 10K goes down the canyon to the river, there is close to 800 feet in elevation change, this will be a tough a 10K! Please let us know if you want to change your distance, you may change your distance during the race as well, please tell us when you finish so the results are accurate.
See you Saturday!"So Um yeah - the 10K I signed up for is difficult - after talking to my husband and him explaning to me what 800 feet was equivalent, I got even more nervous - and race morning I was pretty sure I didn't want to the race anymore. I went and got my bib number and found they had made a paperwork error and I was only signed up for the 5K - it took all I had in me to correct the error and tell them i was doing the 10K! It turned out that the race was about 50% asphalt road and 50% gravel road - so not the "Trail" I had in mind but I was committed (or is that I should be committed..)
The first mile my legs would not warm up and again I had visions of turning around at the 5K turnaround. I was also missing my running buddy - my Garmin (It is cracked and I need a new one) but it is so weird not knowing what pace I'm running or where I am mileage wise. I did say goodbye to my two friends that were doing the 5K and settled into a pace that felt pretty good because that is about where the downhill started. I knew I was going to have to walk most of the way back up so I took advantage of running as much of the downhill as I could. I was rewarded with the most amazing views of the American river!
This is just about where the aid station/10K turnaround point was - notice the start of the hill turning out of sight - trust me when I say that was just the beginning of the hill...
Amazing view of the American River! - I power walked the hill(s) - I wanted to have something left at the end of the race - plus it was HOT! There was very minimal shade out there and I found myself crossing the road several times to take advantage of what little shade there was.
This was the right in front of where the aid station/turnaround point was looking back to where I had come from - you got to the bottom of the big hill and had to climb up a small one to the aid station.
And here are the 4 of us at the turnaround point. The two of us that did the 5K had to drive the other two that did the 5K out to where we ran so they could really appreciate our elevation gain!
Oh and that Medal around my neck? First place in my age group for the 10K course! My friend in the blue got third place in her age group for the 10K course! Small races rule!