Monday, April 18, 2011

Glissading through the Mud: The inagural Mayland Toxic Trail Races 2011

Sooo...this wasn't really the course, yet imagine rivers of moving water and mud on a single track trail...
Can you say fun??? Muddy? Hilarious? Adventures in shinny mica?

Running the inaugural Mayland Toxic Trail 15k (also offered a 5k) on 4/16/2011 in Spruce Pine, NC was one of the most hideously fun, wet and slippery-SLOPPY courses I have so far experienced!  I spent many minutes laughing so hard to myself that amusement probably got in the way of  performance!

Truth be told,  the Southern Appalachian Mountains received all sorts of rainfall and flooded rivers Friday night into Saturday morning, complete with tornadoes east of the mountains.  What would have been a 1:20 drive  to get to the race, water and road conditions turned the travel into a nerving 1:40 travel. I saw several flooded low water bridges and driving rain so hard that it forced me down to 10mph in spots.

By just before race time of 9am the driving rain came in pockets, wind was raging, yet temperatures climbed to the mid-50’s, making conditions less daunting.

Slightly after 9am, the 100+ intrepid runners were OFF!
We ran and slogged and slipped and belly flopped through mud and streams of MUD and water and powdered mica as we wound up and down the well-marked and dazzling course. There were little loops and out ‘n backs and turn arounds- coming back to meet at a common point…running this I sort of felt like a participant in a pacman game!

For the first hour all views were socked in, yet with the remaining 20 minutes or so when the rain settled and fog started to lift I could the beauty that surrounded the course as it traversed a ridge through a Christmas tree farm.

I won't write play by play details, as it all was done in deep concentration and went  by fast!
I knew I was in 2nd place at the 1st turnaround at around mile 4.5ish. I didn’t know Inov 8 fast girl, yet she was clearly strong and running well and I cheered her on as she passed me opposite direction. Next girl was about 1 minute behind me.  I do have a race companion called Dorsal Fin that makes it’s appearance at fabulous and not so fabulous times! Dorsal Fin did not emerge, but reminded me this was a fun training run and to just love the technical parts and celebrate the downhills! (While sliding on some of the steeper trails, I thought I should have and ice ax digging in the mud for a full-on glissade!)

As of yet, there aren't any course photos to share as I expect  conditions would have destroyed any camera that ventured out there.

 Amber Moran 32, the Inov 8 runner I referenced earlier easily won.  I have heard of Amber for years, yet not yet met her and was very happy to meet her and a companion and her Mom who ran her 1st trail race. Congrats Amber’s Mom-and Amber and friend too! Amber ran 1:18:25.
Fast girl Amber and I post finish!

Showing  off the  mud!
Chad Chillington, 20 won overall with a time of  1:09:55

In this photo Chad is sitting next to Daphne Richardson, 20, she was 4th female. Full results should be soon at:  
I finished in 1:23:45, 2nd place.

Running this event during at the end of a  recovery week, may not be smart on paper, yet this is exactly what my psyche needs to remind me of the varied weather and happiness that can accompany a new trail run!

In 2012, I expect this will be a destination race for regional trail toughies!!! Less mud and rain will make the course faster, yet might loose some of the whimsical magic of the fog, wind and driving rain conditions! Still, adventure will abound on these amazing and perhaps "toxic" trails!
Shoes and Socks: Montrail Rogue Racers and DryMax socks= dirty yet happy feet!

1 comment:

Rick Gray said...

Certainly a mud fest. Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself.