Sunday, September 25, 2016
Another great day on the trails - via the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon. This time around, two weeks after the course check, the temperature was a good 20 degrees cooler! Excellent running weather (and dry conditions, which may cut the other direction for those who revel in muddy trails). It still amazes me how this fantastic trail system is practically hidden from plain sight!
As for the race itself, I did not manage to run under 1:50 (my target) - but I did squeak in under my 2015 finish by almost a minute. My 1:52:05 was a solid 10 minutes slower than my finish at the Norwalk Half Marathon last weekend. But the double loop course in Norwalk, challenging as it is with its hills, is a lot different than the single loop Paine to Pain course. Both are great events - yet each requires tapping into a different skill set.
Post-race was equally worth putting in the miles for! Not only were there pull-pork sliders (awesome), but there were various hero sandwiches to choose from. That's was in addition to the typical post-race stuff (bagels, fruit, yogurt...). And not to be overlooked was the ice cold chocolate milk :D
This is a must run event for any local area runner! I will certainly be back in 2017 :D
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the most meaningful moment of the morning (for me, at least) was watching the blind runner as she crossed the finish line. I'm in awe at the courage that it took to run the course without the benefit of sight. It's a tough enough challenge even when you can see every root, rock or fallen branch! God bless her - she's a true inspiration.
Here are the preliminary race results.