When: Oct. 17th 2015
Where: Buffalo Township, Pa
Swag: T-Shirt and finishers medal
Course: This is probably the fastest course I have ever ran. The first mile is on the roads of Cabot, Pa. and then you turn onto the trail and you never leave it again. It seems flat as you are running , but you are probably running on a 1% downhill slope.
Starting Area: You are shuttled up to the starting area and then dropped off at a fire hall. The station is closed but they did have port-o-johns in the parking lot. It was cold and windy the morning of the race so most runners were standing up against the outside walls of the fire hall trying to shield off the wind. I don't think they had enough toilets for all the runners, but like any other race it seemed there was one huge line and then 5 small lines. Let's get it together people, how long have we been running? we should be making equal lines for every toilet.
Finishing Area: This year about a week out of the race we were informed the finish was changed. You used to leave the trail and end on the streets of Freeport, but due to lack of traffic control people the race had to end on the trail. The finish are was small and congested but still had all the usual post race treats, water, cookies, banana's, and hot apple cider. I heard they ran out of cider and some people were unable to get some.
My Experience: I was one of the stupid people who was on the first shuttle to the start, so it was extra time out in the cold. I spent a lot of the time stretching and trying to stay warm. As we were about to line up I spotted KIM and her daughter. I went lined up behind them and asked Kim what time she was shooting for. I figured I could use her to pace me for the first mile, since I know she is fairly fast. As the gun sounded we were off and I tucked in behind a few people and tried to get in a comfortable pace. My goal was to run the first mile around 9 minutes and then build from that. I heard my Garmin beep for the first mile and I was at a 8:05 but felt really good. I decided to turn up my music and not look at the Garmin. Around mile 2 I felt my shins start to hurt and immediately thought "you have to be kidding me." I ran through the pain and kept going and at mile 6 looked at my watch to see I was just under 50 minutes. I knew I needed to pick up the speed, but still didn't want to focus on the clock. It was around mile 7 I realized there was no mile markers, the ones they had were for the old course. I just kept running and listening to my music. Before this race I decided I would not worry about the clock and just run. Well sometimes that can be bad I found out. I couldn't hear my watch beep and let me know what mile I was on. At one point I stopped to tie my shoe and heard a runner yell to me "you got this, only a mile and half to go." I looked at the Garmin and thought damn I didn't realize that I was almost done. I still ran a sub 2 hour race, but never was able to pick up the speed I wanted to at the end. Overall I felt great and still ran a decent time, just never got my PR.
Overall Race Experience: For a smaller race, this was a great course and one that I recommend for anyone looking for a course to go for a PR. The race kind of seemed to be confusing and unorganized at times, but they still did a good job. If you are looking for a cheap race that has great scenery then this one is for you.