Sunday, February 15, 2009

the wtrs mudfest 18k

Typical trail conditions.
The beauty of trail running is that no matter the weather and the conditions, the run must go on (well usually anyway). Such was the case for the Winter Trail Run Series 18K when the trails, fresh from a serious dousing of wet winter downpour just hours before, were just right for some down and dirty trail runners.

WTRS Race Director Baz Hawley

Is Mike trying to prove something here?

Gather 'round as Baz assures everyone that he had the trails groomed this morning.

On Saturday, February 7, parts of Blue Jay Campground were still partially closed and apparently so were several of the trails. The 18K was really only about 9.3 miles, so for the third race in a row, we were running approximately the same distance. But all's well since with Baz's races, the numbers don't really count as much as the fun that you can have out there. And there was fun aplenty as over 100 runners frolicked and kicked around in the mud–a completely acceptable and encouraged behavior–miles away from the rigid constraints of the civilized world.

Looks like some of the faster runners stirred up the mud for the people behind them.

"Hmm, which way do I go?"

"No, Jean, no. Just go through the middle." There was so much water that at some parts, a stream was flowing through the trail.

For the record, I finished with a time of 2:06:28. Not very impressive due to the fact that those darn shin splints came back again. But the hell with it. One foot in front of the other and despite the bogs and mud pits I eventually finished (and had fun doing it because of them). My brother, who ran his first WTRS finished just at around 1:56.

Rhodri finishing his first WTRS.

Doug M. is all smiles as he approaches the finish line.

Saturday, February 21st is the final run of the series. With the next winter storm due to arrive tonight and expected to dump lots of rain and snow, who knows what the trails are going to be like and how long the the 21K REALLY is going to be. Maybe our race director Baz does, but somehow, I doubt that.

One thing's for sure though, there will be plenty of magic in the woods for everyone. So if you haven't already, sign up now and get your fix of trail and quite possibly wet fun.

The winter/spring wildflowers are in bloom.

The speedsters and race winners, Lisa O. and Dean D.

Click here for my 2007 WTRS 21K and the 2008 WTRS 21K postings. Read the official race report from me mate, Baz.

Photos courtesy of fellow SoCal Trail Headz Jean Ho and Big Baz Trail Races.


Stephanie said...

Wait - this is SOCAL? Are you sure you weren't somewhere more tropical? Rainforest?

No better feeling than being officially allowed to get all muddy!

e-rod said...

steph...yeah it is. i wish i was somewhere more tropical, but i'm enjoying this rainfall we're having here while we can.