Trail Trot

Legend of the Fall 2017 – Race Recap

I think I have been running this race for the last 5 years ish. Nothing much changes, but if I don’t add it to my blog, did it happen?

I have added another review to Bibrave.com as well. I am the only one with a review, but really it’s one of my faves in Iowa City.

This race is always the morning of Thanksgiving. It’s our area “Turkey Trot,” yet it’s a difficult event, covering the trails through Hickory Hill Park. This year the weather was probably the best it’s been in years. It was about 40 or so degrees at the start, and there had been no precipitation leading up to race day, leaving the trails dry.

I registered online a few weeks before the event, so on race day I just needed to grab my bib. I am just about 2 miles from this race, so I always run to and from Regina High School, where it starts.

Gear: Black Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Zensah Compression socks, Chicago Marathon hat, Grandma’s 5k tech shirt, Orange Mud Pullover, Spi belt, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Under Armor Horizon shoes, Garmin Forerunner 935, Road ID, Buff(R), Pearl Izumi gloves

I arrived to discover they had moved the packet pick up and race day registration to the outside of the lunch room area. This was slightly congested. I had to wait in a line. I also think there were more participants than normal because the weather was so nice. I didn’t have to wait too long, and I receive a bib, timing chip to attach to my shoe and my long sleeve, cotton, unisex shirt.

I put my bib on my Spi Belt, attached my timing chip and looked for a place to stash my shirt – since I didn’t drive. I was then out the door, and waited near the starting line.

The start is on the track. Everyone waited around, and then was encouraged to move to the starting line, which was just a cone on the track I believe. People just jumbled up together. There were some announcements and then it was time to race.

The race went about 3/4 away around the track, allowing people to thin out before heading down the hill, into the woods and trails of Hickory Hill Park.

The area to run is narrow, so it’s hard to first get a position, so you just wait patiently for a place to pass. There is a hill within the first mile and people start walking, so if you wait it out, this is a good time to pass.

The trail twists and turns and goes up and down, over roots and leaves – your typical trail surface.

There are no mile markers out there, but you follow small yellow flags, which are easy to navigate. Close to the end there is always the short cut, or as they call it in this race – “the spicy way.”

I always take this cut, it’s on unmarked trail, through some trees and then a small creek crossing, with a steep climb out of the ravine. I always laugh at everyone hesitant to cross the water, and I always dash right though.

Once past this area, it’s not much further to the finish. With another 3/4 lap of the track, there is a blue timing mat to cross and you are done! A volunteer was clipping chips here, I just bent over and pulled mine off.

As I was running, I noticed a 6 pack of La Croix was running the race – ok so it was 6 people in costume. I had to get my photo with them. The one lady was like, oh yes – all costumed runners take a picture – um I was not in costume…but I guess plaid pants and a sparkly skirt will do that. They said they also used their costumes for a race the week before.

I walked back up to the school, browsed the post race cookie and dessert bar, grabbing a cookie bar and filling a cup with water. I sat down and ate, and listened while some awards were given out. Winners received pumpkin pie!

It was time to run home, I found my stashed shirt and left the building. I carried it in my hands and enjoyed the nice weather on the way home. I had just over 7 miles total for the day. It was time to get ready for my Thanksgiving plans at my sister’s house.

I really like this race – you can search my blog for past experiences. I will continue to run this event if I am in town, and you should too!

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The Spicy Way

My area turkey trot, the Legend of the Fall is, in fact not really a turkey trot, but the only event happening in Iowa City, on Thanksgiving. I appreciate that this event is more of a challenge, yet everyone is encouraged to participate. I have run this many times in the past, you can see the review for last year.

The 2016 event was on Thursday, November 24. It was cloudy and around 40 degrees.


As in years past, I ran to this event, it’s just under a 2 mile jaunt to the school where it’s held. I made it to the school in plenty of time to register at the $25 price tag. I even got a long sleeved, unisex, cotton shirt.

There was a little time to just mill about. I was starting to get cold, so I stayed indoors until I had to get to the starting line on the track. It was nice to also take advantage of the real bathrooms.

I met up with fellow Corridor Running board member, John, for a quick picture.


We made our way to the starting area, which was just a clump of people. The announcements were general, consisting of trail conditions and no National Anthem. Then it seemed like the clump of people just moved forward….guess the race was on!

We did the “lap” around the track and headed off into the woods and trails of Hickory Hill Park. As I mentioned above, I have run this race many times before, but running in Hickory Hill feels new every time. I have had to ask a friend to accompany me on training runs through the area, as I get lost.

The days leading up to the race were rainy, but no rain during the race, like the previous year, so the trail was decent. There are areas of single track, some roots, some open spots, running through an open field – all kinds of terrain. There are also some decent hills.

I met up with, Monty some where in the race. I met Monty a few years ago when he helped with a couch to 5k program, since them he has participated in the 100 mile challenge, and we encourage each other on your many running endeavors. However, it was the first time we were actually racing together.

I enjoyed the company, it was nice to have a friend on the short course. He asked me about the “spicy way.” So, I told him… Last year the spicy way was eliminate due to the muddy conditions, however in the past, it was a short cut, through a creek and then climbing up the bank. He was curious, how much longer the mild way was, if it really was a short cut.


Of course, I always take the spicy way…and who was behind me, Monty! I live for this kind of fun. After stumbling through non marked trail, through tree branches and over fallen limbs, I came across a couple of people standing there, discussing how they were going to get across this creek. This is when I said “You only live once, see you later!” What proceeded was like a scene out of a move… I took a splash in the 3 inch deep water, hopped over to the creek bank and pulled myself up and across…. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! (someone might want to check if those people are still standing at the creek, ok I kid)

I was back out on the course, and could hear Monty behind me, yay! Spicy route fun for all!!!

The way back to the track, was all uphill, but I mustered through and made the final “lap” around the track and across the timing mat. I made sure to wait to see if Monty finished, yay!!!

I saw a few more friends and chit chatted, before I made my way back inside the school to check out the post race food and results. The parents and school staff always do a great job with the post race spread. Sure the race is only about 3.8 miles long, but you have your choice of many home made breads, cookies and bars.


I checked my results to see I finished near 40 minutes, which was a decent time. I did discover the person in my AG crushed it in 27 minutes, dang!!  The winners received a pie!

I decided to get on my way, I didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving planned, but wanted to get some more miles in and have a lazy day.


I took a little longer route home, adding about another 3 miles or so on the day, for a total of 8.4 miles. Not too bad for a “turkey trot”

I really like this race, and I plan to keep on doing it if I am available.

The rest of my Thanksgiving consisted of a nap and watching movies, it was great!!


I did end the day, enjoying a meal at the Iowa River Power Company, with the B1G reffing crew. Say what? Yep, my Thanksgiving gets shifted around due to Iowa Athletics. The Iowa / Nebraska football game is now the Friday after Thanksgiving, so this year I was invited to join the officiating crew for the game at a Thanksgiving dinner.


Hope you all had a great holiday!

Legend of the Fall 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015. Rainy, 45-50 degrees cloudy. Iowa City, IA. 8 am.

This race is approximately 4 miles on trail, in Hickory Hill park. About a week before the race we had almost 9 inches of snow, it had melted before the race due to the one plus inch of rain we had received.

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Pre Race / Packet Pick up: Parking was available at Regina high school, but first come, first serve. Registration was accessible online, by submitting a form, or registering at packet pickup. Race day pickup without a shirt was $25. Packet pick up was held in the cafeteria, organized by last name. Long sleeve cotton t-shirt (if registered early), bibs and chips were included with entry. Bathrooms available in the school.

Being this is only 2 miles from my house, I always run to and from this race, so race day parking is never a problem for me. The only problem I had was it was raining, I registered on the same day of the race so I had a problem filling out my registration form as I was wet.

Race & Course: Race starts on the track at Regina High School. There were no announcements, due to the fact the race was delayed for 15 minutes for lightning. After that, the race was off, a 300 yard trip around the track, and off into the Hickory Hill Park woods.

  • The terrain was tough, wash out, tree roots, steep inclines, LOTS OF MUD, trail!
  • No water stops
  • no mile markers.
  • Course marked with small yellow flags.
  • Difficult to pass.
  • Did not see the short cut this year
  • Hills, ravines, not flat

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Finish: was back on the track, after another partial loop, was marked with a clock and blue timing mat. The finish was crowded and a little close to the runners coming into the track, had to be careful and stay out of their way.

Chips were removed by the runners in the school. The volunteer didn’t want to get their hands dirty?!?!

I had a fun time running the muddy trails. It was a slippery mess. There were the parts of packed down mud, but then the parts of weeds/grass and which were just a hot mess. I even fell once, didn’t even put a hole in my sparkle skirt. I contemplated just sliding down a hill on my butt as I thought that would be easier. I definitely earned my Thanksgiving meal.

Post Race: Lots of baked goods available in the cafeteria; bars, cookies, breads, etc. There was blue electrolyte drink and water.  The age group winners were awarded pie. Results were laid out on a cafeteria table top.

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I placed 13th in my AG. My watch had a time of 44:06 and 3.67 miles.

Overall: This is my area’s Turkey trot, why it’s not your average “get the family out, and get moving” activity. This race will make you earn your Thanksgiving pie.  I will always try to run this race if it fits into my schedule.

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I have added my review to Bibrave.com You can do the same

 

Legend of the Fall 2014

Thursday November 27, 2014. Regina High School / Hickory Hill Park, Iowa City, IA. Sunny, windy 15-20 degrees. Aprrox 4 mile trail race.

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*I ran this race the last couple of years, here is last year’s recap

Registration: Available online through get me registered, price increased up to $25. Same day registration. Long sleeve cotton shirts, but no guarantee for race day registrants. Chip timing was also included in fee.

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Pre Race / Packet Pick up: Parking was available at the high school, but first come, first serve. Packet pick up was held in the cafeteria, organized by last name.  Bathrooms available in the school.

Race & Course: Race starts on the track after some brief announcements about the “Legend” Bob Brown, for which the race is named. He was the former track and XC coach for Regina high school who lost a battle with pancreatic cancer, he always preached “nothing but your best.” This year the announcement speaker was too far away from the starting line to hear anything, so there was some mumbling and then a commotion and we all started.

It had snowed the night before, nothing major, just enough to make it slippery after it was packed down from the heard of runners. The terrain was tough, wash out, tree roots, steep inclines: trail! No water stops, no mile markers. Course marked with small yellow flags. Difficult to pass. Even though some runners, trekked across a field off of the course, there was only one marked short cut; it was marked “Spicy” route or “mild” route. The short cut was on unmarked trail to a creek, that hadn’t yet frozen.

Finish was back on the track, after another partial loop, was marked with a timer and a chute where chips were removed.  The finish was crowded and a little close to the runners coming into the track, had to be careful and stay out of their way.

Post Race: Lots of baked goods available in the cafeteria; bars, cookies, breads, etc. Blue sports drink and water. We left before the awards were given out.

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Overall: I enjoy this race, it’s for a great cause and the course is a challenge. I also like that it’s not a typical Turkey Trot, you have to put in some effort to complete the course.

Personal: Josh and I ran to the race, well because we could. We were race day registrants, and did not get a t-shirt unless we wanted a super large size. We arrived with not a lot of time to cool down, but we did have time to snap a picture with some of the #100miles group.

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It was cold, but that is what comes with where we live. We both didn’t have many goals, but to enjoy the course. However when I spoke with Josh after the race, he said he changed his strategy mid course, and tried to “race” as he saw a familiar face he wanted to beat.

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I had an interesting race. I kept one eye to the ground and one eye looking ahead. For trail running this is normal, the terrain was tough. Trying not to trip is hard when it’s icy due to packed snow covering. I was in a group trotting along, when the leading packed cut off course… I said “we follow the yellow flags, right?” So then I was the leader..which is weird as I am never a race leader, I felt alone too.  However I caught back up with some runners near the short cut, as people were piling up around the creek.

I am no stranger to creek crossings, I actually like this style of race. However it was cold, I didn’t want wet feet, as we had yet to run home. Oh well I gave my best effort to jump the not frozen creek…yep one wet foot.  It actually wasn’t too bad, as I believe the water was warmer than the air.

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I did see 2 deer as I came close to the track for the finish.

I met Josh in the cafeteria for some post race treats, we discussed our races, and then didn’t want to cool down too much and made the trek back home.  Always a great way to start Thanksgiving.

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Legend of the Fall XC trail race

November 28, 2013, Regina High School / Hickory Hill Park, Iowa City, IA. Sunny 20 degrees, 8:00 AM, estimated 4 miler

Pre Race / Packet Pick up: Parking was available at the high school, but first come, first serve. Registration was accessible online, by submitting a form, or registering at packet pickup. Packet pick up was held in the cafeteria, organized by last name. Long sleeve cotton t-shirt, bibs and chips were included with entry. Bathrooms available in the school.

Race & Course: Race starts on the track after some brief announcements about the “Legend” Bob Brown, for which the race is named. He was the former track and XC coach for Regina high school who lost a battle with pancreatic cancer, he always preached “nothing but your best.” After that, the race was off, a 300 yard trip around the track, and off into the Hickory Hill Park woods. The terrain was tough, wash out, tree roots, steep inclines: trail! No water stops, no mile markers. Course marked with small yellow flags. Difficult to pass. There was one short cut through a frozen creek, but it wasn’t easy to find. Finish was back on the track, after another partial loop, was marked with a timer and a chute where chips were removed.  The finish was crowded and a little close to the runners coming into the track, had to be careful and stay out of their way.

Post Race: Lots of baked goods available in the cafeteria; bars, cookies, breads, etc. There was even HOT Gatorade. Before awards were given and in lieu of a random prize drawing, t-shirts were thrown to the crowd. The age group winners were awarded pie.

Overall: This is a race held on Thanksgiving, when the traditional turkey trot is held, this is not your ‘walk in the park’ trot, this is a great physical challenge where you earn your Thanksgiving meal. I will always try to run this race if it fits into my schedule.

Personal: This race was part of my (& Josh’s) training for the Dopey Challenge. We were to run 5 miles as part of the plan, so because we are Dopey, we ran to the race (1.8 miles) and then the race (3.67 miles) and then back home, over 7 miles for the day. We forgot about getting t-shirts, so ran back with those, I guess luckily we didn’t win a pie, as running with a pie could have been difficult.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving

Angie 37:02 Josh 32:14

Editor’s note: there are no links as the race registration info link is down, and I can’t find anything online. If anyone knows where the results are please let me know.

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