Trail Nut 10K – Race Report

This past Saturday I drove up to Falling Creek Park in Bedford for my second ever trail race. My experience at this race was a lot different than my first trail race.

I arrived at the park about 30 minutes before the start of the race and was directed to park in a grass field, which was being used for overflow parking. It’s a good thing I got there when I did! Just after I parked, the girl directing cars said “two more and then shut the gate because we’ll be full.”

Trail Nut 10K

I hit the restrooms, and then headed down to the main pavilion to catch the tail end of the pre-race briefing. I have been through two of these meetings for trail races now, and they always confuse me and make me worry I am going to get lost. I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to have the opposite effect, though.

Trail Nut 10K Falling Creek Park Bedford

Once the meeting wrapped up, we all headed down the hill from the pavilion to the start line. I bumped into my friend Jessie, who was running the half marathon, and hung out with her before the start. We failed to get a picture together at any point during the day, but it was great to see her! At 9 o’clock the half marathoners were off, and then we waited for our turn (10K started 10 minutes later). A few minutes later it was our turn to run!

Trail Nut 10K

The race started up a grass hill, did a brief stint on a paved path, and then we plunged down into the woods to take to the trails. It’s amazing how my heart rate can skyrocket just minutes after the start of a trail race. I think my average heart rate on trails stays higher than it does during most road races.

Trail Nut 10K

The course had rolling hills through the woods for the first mile and a half or so. We came out of the woods and ran on a paved road for a short distance before going back into the woods just before mile two. At this point, I couldn’t see anyone in front of me, and as I ran down the winding trail I worried I was off course. This was the only time this happened the whole race. But then I saw a pink streamer with polka dots and knew I was on course. They had the race course really well marked!

Trail Nut 10K Falling Creek Park Bedford

Around mile 3.5 we passed through a water stop. It was kind of hot/humid out, so I chose to fill up my handheld from a pitcher. I quickly ate a Salted Caramel Gu (yum!) so that I could toss it in the trash bin, and then headed back into the woods. Some of the trails were technical with roots and rocks through the woods, while others were smooth dirt through fields.

Trail Nut 10K

There were a few times that we popped up out of the woods to a clearing and had some really gorgeous views. I really enjoyed running in Falling Creek Park. If I lived in that area, I’d be visiting that place often.

Trail Nut 10K

I had to walk on some of the hills, especially later in the race, but I think my legs are still recovering from last weekend’s Blue Ridge Half Marathon. I think as I get stronger on trails I will be able to run a course like this in it’s entirety. I finished the race in 1:19:54.

Trail Nut 10K Finish

Photo courtesy of Mountain Junkies LLC

My Garmin was off, but the race ended up being roughly 6.4 miles long. The race director had warned us of this beforehand. I think it’s kind of the norm for trail races to claim “10K” or “half marathon” and that really just means they’re in the ballpark of that distance. And I’m cool with that. I know one thing – they have good post race food spreads.

Trail Nut 10K

Bagels with cream cheese, Nutella, and peanut butter; crackers and hummus; fresh cut peppers, bananas, and orange slices; and an assortment of baked goods.

After the race I hung out with Jessie and watched the awards ceremonies and raffle (I didn’t win anything, boo). The pavilion was a great gathering place. Then it was time to hit the road home. My throat was bothering me a bit on the way home, so I stopped at McD’s to get my favorite – a mango pineapple smoothie.

McDonald's Mango Pineapple Smoothie

That way I would have brain freeze in addition to my sore throat. But it was yummy! And don’t worry, I’m wasn’t driving in the above picture. My right foot is on the brake and I was at a stop light.

Overall, I had a great time at this race. This was my first Mountain Junkies LLC race, and they do a great job! The course was so pretty and I wish they were holding the race again next month so that I could run it again! Instead I have about a month break before I tackle my next race, which also happens to be a Mountain Junkies race – Conquer the Cove 25K. Fifteen miles on trails, better start training!

Who else raced this weekend?
Have you ever gotten lost during a race?
What’s your favorite “special treat” beverage?

18 Comments

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  1. Looks like a fun race and a great picnic afterwards. I guess the heat could be the next challenge at your 25K.

    And Pappy Van Winkle is my special treat beverage.

    LUD.

    1. It was! I’m looking forward to the next Mountain Junkies race on June 1!

      1. I signed up for Conquer the Cove 25K too! This will be my first trail race and I am scared to death because Peakwood nearly killed me last month and Delaware is FLAT so no hills to train on! But I’m really looking forward to it too!

  2. I didn’t know you kept a blog! This is really neat! I’m hoping to see you at the 25k too. I’m glad it’s not that Saturday since I’ll be in Louisa. Then we’ll definitely have to take a picture together :o)

    1. I do! 🙂 I started it January 2013. I’m so excited that you signed up for the 25K. I’ll see you there!

  3. Great race recap. For your second trail race you are ding a great job. The course looked awesome and the race amenities looked awesome too. Your recap makes me want to find my own trail race lol. Raced last Sat with another coming up this weekend. Favorite post race drink is usually a nice cold beer.
    The running schlub recently posted…Rest Days and Getting Back on the HorseMy Profile

    1. Thank you! I’m hoping to get stronger at trails the more I run on them. You should definitely look into trails. They are a lot of fun, but also very challenging.

  4. Congrats on the great finish time! Nice race shirt! A couple of your photos remind me of the recent 25K I ran here in Texas.
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…Tina’s 1st 50K Race Training PlanMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Tina! Pretty neat that our races had similar-looking trails – minus the alligators for me (thank goodness)!

  5. Looks like you’re getting in some good trail running! The park looked really pretty! I’ve decided to do a few 5k and 10 milers here and there this summer then another half in the fall – aka Hokie Half!!
    Becky recently posted…Dress Help!My Profile

    1. I’m trying to! The park had some really pretty trails, definitely worth the trip from Bburg if you’re ever down visiting and wanting to check out some new trails. It’s very easy to find, too. They have good directions on the race website if you ever head out that way.

      SO excited you’re doing the Hokie Half!! 🙂

  6. That looks like so much fun! Lucky you to have a great trail race in the area. One of these days I think I’ll fly out and run one w/ you! 🙂 Love the post-race spread, too!
    jan recently posted…Hot WeatherMy Profile

    1. I’m thinking I may need to check out all of the Mountain Junkies races next spring. They seem to know where all the hidden gems are 🙂 Let me know when you’re headed this way!

  7. I love post trail race raffles! the atmosphere of trail races is just awesome. Way to finish strong. I can imagine how tired your legs must be after last week’s epic mountain-y race!
    Amy recently posted…Number 7 in the Books!My Profile

    1. I’m finding that trail races definitely have a more laid back, community/family feel to them. And they’re not cliquey! In my experience they’ve been very welcoming of newcomers.

      I think I definitely had some residual fatigue from Blue Ridge the weekend before!

  8. That looks like an awesome race. The pics are SO pretty. I love the one of the runner in the field with the mountains in the background.
    Nice shirt, too.
    Now I want to run that race next year 🙂
    Congrats on doing tough 1/2 marathons on back to back weekends! Impressive.
    JoAnne recently posted…Seen on the run (May 8, 2014)My Profile

    1. It was a great race, and a very beautiful park to run at! That one with the runner in the field and the mountains is my favorite picture, too. The view was even better in person. You should definitely check out the race next year!

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