Race Report: Summer Trail Series Race #1

I’d say the Summer Trail Series is off to a great start. We knew that holding races on Thursday evenings would be a gamble because some people would be unable to attend, but we were hoping to attract some new people who couldn’t make the old Try-A-Trail races because on the weekends they had long runs, camping, cottages, other races or other personal commitments. If this first race was any indication, having these races on weekday evenings works for more people. We had 79 happy runners at the starting line on July 14.

Our runners brought so much enthusiasm and energy that it was an absolute privilege to put on a race for them. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had a comparable amount of enthusiasm and energy earlier in the week, and she used it to knock over trees on our race course. The day of the race, three of our volunteers spent hours upon hours doing yet another round of trail maintenance. One of them even ran the event afterwards.

I warned the runners before the race that they were essentially acting as our guinea pigs by testing out the new race format and course. They were all equal to the challenge. I want to give a shout out to the runners at the front of the pack – not only were you pushing the limits of how fast you could run on twisting, technical trails, you were also the first runners through our aid station and the runners who were least likely to have people ahead of you that you could follow as you navigated forks in the trails. We’re using your feedback to improve course markings (you know, without making it condescendingly easy for you).

I was also impressed by the runners who took wrong turns or got lost on the course. That’s an inevitable part of trail running, and eventually happens to all of us (I once flagged down a boat to ferry me across a lake because I was so far off-course). But you all seemed to already know that getting lost can be part of the adventure: you still got to the finish line with big smiles. You are class acts and we are motivated to improve our races so we deserve to keep getting runners like you joining us.

Speaking of class, we have great volunteers! Thanks to everyone who gave their time to helping with the event.

The race results are now online, and we will be posting some photos soon. Thanks to everyone who joined us, and I look forward to seeing you again.

Mallory Richard, on behalf of the Summer Trail Series race team

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