Another race down. One left, the biggy. Half marathon in less than one week!
But, for now, a quick recap on the Camp Talooli 5K.This was my second year in a row running this race. It will always hold a bit of a special place in my heart too. If you don’t know yet, this is where Rob and I met many, many eons ago (kind of). I went here as a camper for six years and worked as an overnight counselor and program area director for seven. It’s the reason I met, fell in love with, got engaged to, and married my amazing husband. Camp is my second home and a huge part of who I am. And running their fundraiser 5k race is a fun way to get to enjoy camp in the fall while giving back and having some fun.
The course is lovely. It starts on the edge of the ballfield, by the huge old barn that is part of the original farm that used to fill the vast acreage of what is not Camp Talooli (and is now rehabed as the Art Barn). The course goes down a large hill into the wood, then up another hill to a fork in the road. The hills that start and end the race are part of the main road through camp and have some grooves in them and are largely covered by rocks and gravel. I’ve walked this road thousands of times, as it was the main way back to cabin site I called home for many summers, so I wasn’t really phased by the hills or condition.
The right hand turn at the top second hill turned the road into a more narrow path with soil under foot. It still required some watchful eyes to make sure you didn’t hit tree roots or pinecones. The path looped around the back side of the low ropes course, out past the vernal pool, along the far edge of the property, then came out into Greenwood where old Bett’s lodge stands unused. Then it was down a short hill past a aid station run by the cutest little 8-ish year old helpers ever. Then back up a steep hill on the main road and a straight shot for a second lap around the loop before heading back out to the big hills that you first encountered to push through to the finish. And let me tell you, when the finish line is at the top of the very large, steep, rock infested hill, it makes for an interesting finish.
|My Garmin performed admirably in the heavy tree coverage|
The course is tough. It’s got some pretty solid hills on it in a number of places and the changing terrain means watching where you step. I’m not a very strong trail runner since my running is done almost entirely on neighborhood roads and the treadmill. This meant I was working just as hard and only clocking 9:45/mile as I do in my neighborhood where I come in around an average of 8:40/mile. Yikes. Also, the course came up a bit short distance wise, which explains my confusion over my finish time versus my pace. I finished at 28:02 and was happy with my overall performance. It’s good to shake things up a bit, and again, I love camp with all my heart, so this was a race I as looking forward to a lot. So all said and done, I give this race two huge thumbs up.