0 Degree Post-Race Recap

14 Dec

Yesterdayday was our 2nd Annual #TrailsRoc 0 Degree Winter Trail Festival.  Pre-race, I always have a little bit of anxiety–will everything go all right??  Will people have fun??? Will everything go smoothly????  And every time, I leave feeling so incredibly rewarded, inspired and content (plus a touch exhausted ha).


1.  We owe a HUGE thank you and shout out to our amazing volunteers.  You guys were amazing, from the crew who stood out at the aid station in the cold, helping watch for traffic, directing runners, cheering them on and being timbits pushers (or so I heard…) to the crew in the lodge prepping warm soup and getting post-race food ready and keeping it stocked to the guys out there with cameras capturing so many amazing, gorgeous moments.  You guys are the crux of our races, and we absolutely could NOT do it without you!!


2.  To an amazing community of runners who consistently puts their faith into us by coming to our events, we owe you indefinite amounts of gratitude.  You are incredible.  That course, which is brutal normally, was extremely challenging yesterday.  But you came through smiling, laughing and making it look…easy.  Wow!  At one point, someone was running up and I was like, “Does she have a mouth guard in???”  The person I was talking to said, “No she’s just smiling–those are her teeth!”  (And to you, perfect white teeth lady, how do you do it???? And please don’t tell me it’s by avoiding red wine (oh the horror)!!!)


3.  To the amazing board–for hearing crazy race ideas and saying “why the hell not?” and then giving up time with your families and runs of your own to show up to set up courses, time, and take down courses.  We are coming together as a well-oiled machine…it’s kind of hard to believe this was only our 7th race!!!


4.  To whomever we owe for the most amazing parks system with the most beautiful trails…Every time Eric and I talk about leaving Rochester, the talk stops abruptly when we realize NO other place has parks like ours.  Kudos, Rochester, for caring about the environment and providing people with beautiful places to hike, run and play.


5.  Butt sliding down a hill today as I was sweeping the course, I was caught by a moment of panic, and then a moment of sheer joy.  Laugh-out-loud-even-though-no-one-is-around-so-I-look-crazy joy.   This is why, I’ve decided, so many people come to the trails.  Because you can be a kid again.  Mud puddles?  Splash in ’em!  Big hill that seems dangerous to go down???? Meh, go with it!!  Huge mountain-like hill to climb up???? You’re gonna get to come down it again!!!  The parks are like a giant adult playground!!!  Who doesn’t love playgrounds??? (Of course, there’s also that whole peace and serenity in the woods thing if you’re looking for that, too!)


6.  Course sweeping is hard work.  Particularly when, in the course of one mile, you have not one but THREE near-heart attacks.  The first one came climbing ski hill, the part where you can’t actually see over the bump, as a downhill skier actually came flying over, straight at me, saw me and shouted for me to look out.  I cautiously resumed my climb, only to have a kid come at me on a sled.  Yikes.  Another one came, and I was like, OK are you the last one??  I didn’t think anyone used that hill at all.  So be forewarned if you’re out there for a run or hike that you might not be the only one, and things could get dangerous…

I kept plugging away.  At the bottom of the loop, I turned to look back at the hill and noticed a small body, lying half-under a huge downed tree.  It was not moving, so I had to do a double-take, but nope…it was a kid, with a sled half under, face down on the side of the hill.  I traipsed over to him, calling the whole time, but there was no response.  As I got closer, I got out my phone, sure the kid was either paralyzed or worse.  I got there, and apparently he was OK–I made sure he could wiggle arms and legs (while his dad and siblings came down the hill and kept saying how he was fine).  Then I kept going.

As I was walking back down the end of the hill, I hear a sliding sound behind me and turn as the downhill skier literally is JUST turning his skis so he doesn’t hit me.  It was a serious close call, and my heart was in my throat the rest of the way to the parking lot/road crossing as I kept looking over my shoulder for more danger.  The short story is to be safe when on that part of the course/in that part of Powder Mills because people do crazy things there and might kill you if you’re not careful.


In any event, yesterday was amazingly fun, and I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  The hard work and exhaustion of putting on a race is totally worth it for the stories and smiles after the race is over and knowing that we at #TrailsRoc helped to create something so amazing.  So THANK YOU to anyone who was played a hand in what happened yesterday.  It was an incredible day, and I can’t wait for the next one!


Photos from Ron Heerkens, Jr. (from the start/finish line area)

More photos from Mike Lesher.  (from on the course!)


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