Governor’s European style XC trail race. Sunday November 3, 2013, 1pm Scott County Park, Long Grove, IA, 4+ mile course.
What is a European style XC trail race you ask? Well think mud run, but actually fun, lol. Ok, I am not a mud run fan. This is a trail run through the park where you run through nature’s obstacles.
This race is also named after a pub in the area, Governor’s. It is a fundraiser for a scholarship, and is organized by the Corn Belt Running Club. The race has been ran for many years, and there isn’t a lot of information online.
Pre-Race: Registration was available online for only $15, long sleeve t-shirts were extra. You could also register minutes before the race started in the park pavilion. Lots of parking available, but the later you arrived you needed to take a shuttle from a far away parking lot. Many port-o-potties available, the park toilets were closed for the season. Videos from the course were playing in the lodge to pump you up for the adventure.
Race: The National Anthem was performed live, and we were off. There were 2 courses a 2 mile route and a 4+ mile. I believe the “plus” is due to the nature of the course and where ever race organizers decide the route to go. We (my friend Laura, my sister, and I) choose the 4 + mile route. It was marked with red flags along the way and yellow flags marked short cuts.
The course was a challenge, up and down hills, trails covered in leaves, the leaves hiding rocks, roots and hazards. downed trees and water crossings. While trying to navigate all of nature’s obstacles there were prizes located along the course, they were ribbons attached to trees with numbers on them. If you spot one you bring it back to the pavilion to claim your prize. There were also things on the course that don’t belong, if you find one of these big prizes you win a bigger prize. (more on this later)
The course is for fun, even though there are few who actually race to win trophies. No chip timing. 3 water stops along the way. The miles were to be marked with flags on the course, but I never saw one as I believe they were mistaken as prize flags.
Post race: The finish had a clock and was well marked. There was food available for purchase. Beer, water, pop and cold cider were available for runners. Flag prizes were to be claimed, they were older shirts, candy and training logs. Awards were then given out. There were the overall winners, the wounded warrior winner, the youngest participant, muddiest, and then there were the awards for the items that didn’t belong on the course. Found this year: a wooden sled, an oar, 35 pound dumbbell, a kids trick bike, and the grand prize was a blow mold snowman. Those prizes had to be carried all the way back to the finish from where they were found, in exchange for gift certificates to the local running store.
Overall: For the price and the challenge, I will always try to make room for this race on my calendar, you should too if you like a fun time.
Personal: This was the third year I have participated in this event. I always try to make it, I have so much fun. It “irks” me to pass runners that refuse to cross the knee deep creeks or slide down a muddy bank, why sign up? Every once in a while you just need to go have fun. I mentioned I was able to run this with my friend Laura and my sister, Amber. Amber hadn’t run in over a year, so Laura and I helped her through the course, I hope they had as much fun as I did. At one point Laura was sucked into some mud in a creek and fell sideways. This was also perfect to go slow and cautious as I continue to nurse my aches and pains.
Wearing my Garmin, I had a distance total of 5.3 miles and did this in 1:26:24, this averaged to 16 minute miles, lol.
My niece Ella was along to cheer for us.
Minimal mud damage. Oh and yes I wear my ring on the middle finger, it’s too big for my ring finger, never had it re-sized.