Legend of the Fall – 2018 Recap
I can’t stay away from this event, I am not sure how many times I have run it. The best part about it, it’s my local turkey trot and yet it’s a tough trail race.
Thursday, November 22.
My Thanksgiving plans were up in the air. There was a men’s basketball game Wednesday night, and a football game on Friday. Family was in town, and I really didn’t want to prepare a giant meal. This also meant, I wasn’t sure if I could run the race. However, because I have the best sister who offered to host – ok maybe I told her too – I was able to squeeze the race in.
The race would start at 8 AM and I needed to register. In the past I have always run to the start, but in the interest of saving time afterwards, I drove.
I was at the school around 7:15 AM. I walked in, filled out a form, signed a check and was given a timing chip and a soft, long sleeve, unisex shirt. There were no bibs!! Also, I don’t need another shirt, but I was happy with this one, it was black with a gold logo.
Since, I arrived with too much time, I went back and sat in my car. It was advertised that race day registration would close at 7:30, I wanted to make sure I was in.
With about 10 minutes before the run, I left my car and walked down the hill to the school track. The race starts here, does a partial loop and heads into the woods of Hickory Hill Park.
People started lining up, it was COLD!! The race director made some announcements. He encouraged to hug those standing near and then remarked in the 18 years of this event, the course was “the most treacherous he had ever seen!”
I made a face, and then was ready to embrace it. The course is mostly trail, and while Iowa trails are not the hardest, and I have run this in muddy conditions too, but icy snow pack would be a new adventure.
The race started and I moved forward, there were a lot of people and it took a long time to thin out. It was made even worse as people walked down the grassy hill towards the woods.
My strategy was to just fall into place and pass when I could. This worked for a while and I was eventually running single file.
There were no mile markers, just yellow flags to follow. As with trail paying attention to the flags and your footing can be a challenge. I took the icy down hills slow and motored on.
It was finally time for my favorite part of the race, the short cut. It’s always been called the “spicy way.” It’s just a little jaunt through the woods on unmarked trail, under limbs, through the brush and across a creek. It’s my most favorite because every time I get there, a group of people are stopped wondering how they will get across.
This year was no different. There were a couple of guys on the other side, I yelled “how deep is the creek?” They shouted back, “ankle deep!” In the distance there was a group dressed at Ruth Bader Ginsbergs crossing on a downed log. Another guy stood, puzzled behind me. I took off, jumped into the creek, splish splash, then climbed out of the ravine. It’s just so much fun!
The end of the race was near, a final climb out of the woods, a partial loop around the track, and BAM the finish line. Once across I had to remove my own timing chip. There were result printouts posted on the track shed as they were available. My time wasn’t up yet, but I could see I did not place in my AG, so I made the trek back into the school for a post race treat.
As usual there was a huge spread of baked goods. However, I found it strange I didn’t see any pumpkin pies. The pie is usually what is awarded to winners.
I had no other reason to stick around, so I went back to my car and drove home. It was time to join the family for Thanksgiving.