Monday, October 26, 2009

10/03: Bird on the Run Trail Race

It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it wasn’t night yet - it was a little past three in the afternoon - and it wasn’t that dark, just kind of gray and sporadically drizzling. Suddenly, a shot - or airhorn, more accurately - rang out. Once it did, and this I can say without qualification, we were off running in the inaugural Bird On The Run Approximately But Unfortunately On The Heavy Side Of Four-Mile Trail Race, starting from Bob Jones Park in Southlake and finishing in the Bob Jones Nature Center, which is on Bob Jones Road. I have no idea who Bob Jones is but if I lived in Southlake, I suppose I might. I don’t think it’s the same guy with the university in Greenville, South Carolina.

Not to spoil the suspense or beat my own drum or anything, but I took third in my age group, not that I can say with any certainty that there was a fourth in my age group. Which earned me a clear lucite Christmas ornament, with the race logo and date etched on it. Which was nice, and different. The ornament came in a small bubblewrap sleeve. Which was awesome. I mean, really awesome. I could stay while the rest of the awards were being handed out because hey, I had bubbles to pop. Every time I sat down to write this report, I’d pick up the award and pop some bubbles instead. Now I have no more bubbles to pop, so I guess I’ll finally write a report. Too bad I don’t actually remember anything about the race, except that it rained some but mostly before and after the race - my bubblewrap got wet - but not so much during. Or maybe I was running too hard to notice but that seems unlikely.

I do remember that we finished at the top of a hill. A kind of nasty hill, actually. A nasty hill that we could easily have avoided if the course designer had made it closer to a 5K race. I mentioned that to him and he said, “Where’s the fun in that?”

“Fun for who?”

“Me. I liked watching you idiots struggle up that hill.” Oh well, they say it builds character or something.

Starting and finishing at different locations was kind of a pain in the ass but they had parking at both locations and shuttle buses available. I parked at the start and walked back after the race; it was maybe a half-mile on the trail we had just raced over, and it was drizzling again. Which these days isn’t much of a rarity around here. An added bonus to this race was I learned a new access point to some of the Army Corps of Engineer trails on the south side of Lake Grapevine, since the city of Grapevine has started charging admission to the trails on the north side. Which I don’t mind paying five bucks unless I pay my five bucks and find the parking lot is full and the trails are crowded, which was frequently the case when I’ve run there in the past.

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