About a week ago, we ran the Goose Creek Trail Races. We’ve been missing trail running since we left Charlotte, so this seemed like the perfect chance for us to get back out on the trail. So after the Outer Banks Triathlon, we set our training sights on Goose Creek. They had both a 5-mile and a 10-mile option, so there was something for both of us! I opted for the 5-mile race, and Andrew ran the full 10-miles.
It was FRIGID when we woke up that morning. It was the first really cold day of the year – registering 24 degrees when we woke up and warming to a balmy 27 degrees by the start of the race. The course was split between road and trail. The first 2 miles of my race were paved. I liked the road start – it gave a good chance to really warm up at the beginning of the race. I opted to run in my trail shoes, so I do wish the road portion was slower. By the end of the 2nd mile, my feet were wishing I had worn something with a little more cushion. After the road portion, we hit just over a half mile of sand. This REALLY slowed things down. Next came about 2 miles of nice, well-groomed trail. Then the boardwalk. Because of the temperature (maybe 28 degrees by this point) there was frost on the boardwalk, so it was incredible slippery. Luckily I just had to cross the boardwalk once – all 10-mile racers had to cross the boardwalk twice!
The race was very well organized. We arrived and the visitor center of the park was set up and ready for us to check in and and stretch inside. There were bathrooms both inside and outside, which definitely cut down on lines before the race. They had finisher medals for all 10-mile finishers, and the age group awards were pint glasses. They also had hot soup, cookies, and pastries for after the race. The only complaints I had about the food were (1) they didn’t have a vegetarian soup option, and (2) they didn’t have any electrolyte drink after the race, just soda and water.
My original goal for the race was to finish in under 45 minutes. After looking closer at the weather and the condition of the course, I upped my goal time to 50 minutes. Andrew was aiming to finish in 65 minutes. I ended up finishing the 5 miles in 48:33, and took 3rd in my age group. It was actually my first age group award of the season! Andrew finished in 1:10:50, won his age group, and finished 5th overall in the 10-mile race.