The world is not flat.
The trail system in Musquodoboit is.
My first impression upon arriving at the 4th race in the MEC 2017 series is the amount of run club participants. It was great to see so many people coming together and running as a club. One of the many benefits of taking up running is the like minded individuals you can meet. Joining a run club is not like joining a gym. There is no competition, there is no sweaty equipment and no ‘gym rules’, you just show up and are immediately welcomed in with open arms. Joining a run club is intimidating but in reality there is always someone there who goes your pace and there is no other fitness club that is as friendly and welcoming as a running club.
The MEC series #4 race was very well organized. Plenty of parking available across the street from the entrance. Plenty of refreshments and washroom facilities. One trick I have learned is to get in the washroom lineup long before you have to go, by the time you get to the front of the line, you will need it.
The race began with a staggered start. The 15k’ers went first followed by what I’m going to assume is the 10k’ers then the 5’s. I can only assume because I was part of the 15k group. They had 3 water stations set up, each at each of the turn around points; 2.5k, 5k and 7.5k. This was very helpful not only for notating when you were supposed to turn around, but also having this many water stops along the route made it much easier to make it the full 15k. The weather was perfect, but it was a tad muggy so having access to 5 water stations was very much appreciated.
I love trail running for the scenery aspect alone. Not much to see on this trail though, once you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all. I also like runs that are a bit more challenging. I like the odd hill thrown in the mix. What goes up must come down. I like it when I can engage those glutes. This route is flat. Flatter than flat. I have never ran a route so flat. I think I actually zoned out and took a nap just before the turn around point. I could have easily PR’d on this one had I not just completed the MRW ½ the weekend before. Unfortunately for me I petered out at kilometer 10. I still finished with an average pace of 7.28/k, but prior to that I was sticking steady at a 6.5/k pace. That was the fastest I have run a 10 in years. Might seem like very super slow to most, but for me, it’s nuclear!
I missed race #1 due to illness, but I still say that the 2nd race in the series, the Citadel, is my favorite to date. I liked the Salt Marsh Trail one, it was challenging at points and the scenery was stunning but it was way too hot and they ran out of water or they cleaned it up before I got there, either way, it was a crappy day for a 10k. This one was nice, it’s a great PR race for someone who is concentrated on those things. The staggered start was perfect and the trail was super wide giving more than enough room for the back of the packers like myself and the head of the pack 5 and 10k racers coming up behind. The refreshments were plentiful and the atmosphere was jovial.
I’m anxiously awaiting what the final MEC series #5 will bring.
I began my running journey in March of 2009. I began my journey of faith in September of 2012. Running releases stress from my body while my new found faith releases stress from my mind.