The loop is 12.5 km equals 7.77 miles. The race goes clockwise around the 3 main sections of the course which are joined together by 2 connecting trails. The sections are: Green Lake ( about 2 miles) Round Lake ( about 1 mile)
The Meadows, aka The Serengeti, and upland forest ( about 4.75 miles)
The 2 connecting trails are each about 150 meters long. One connects Green Lake to Round Lake. One connects Round Lake to the upland forest trails that lead to the Serengeti. As the races progress, the connecting trails will have two way traffic with some runners going out and some on their way back.
It was a hot one...the temp. was about 85 degrees. I ran a smart race, my focus was staying hydrated. I didn't have my garmin and only relied on the race clock. So I didn't focus on time, or pace. The Serengeti section was an open grassy path. No shade, very hot. The humidity was low which was good, but still very hot. The trail around the lake was a nice break from the sun. Very runnable trail with few roots, rock and hills. The first loop I couldn't get into a groove, I was trying to find a good pace to run without knocking myself out of the race. Loop 2-3 I felt really good. Hydration was good, fuel was good, no pain, just hot. The last loop my momentum started to fail. Sore muscle pain set in, No amount of fuel could get me to move faster. It was all mental from here on in.
I hit a wall in the Serengeti, I started to slowdown and found myself walking. I kept telling myself get to the trail with the woods you'll feel better. Then I would start run again. Once on the trail in the woods I would say to myself, "It's only 3.5 miles...I run loner training runs than this." We could see the beach through the trees on the last leg of the race. It was like our own Bird Nest Stadium. I got a chance to check the time on my garmin it was 12:25 pm. Most of you know I'm not real good at done math in my head, I struggled for and 5 minutes to figure out I could break 6 hours. This pick me up and pushed me to the finish along with seeing the beach.
What a great place to run; the water was that greenish blue looking shade, the trees around the lake looked awesome. Fall would be a colorful time to run. The trail was a soft on your feet mulch packed surface. Although the Serengeti meadow was hot it was a beautiful. Once you hike/run up the hills your eyes adjust to all the purple colored flowers, chest high grasses hiding tigers that could jump out at any time to eat you...OK maybe not tigers...ticks. There were a few place with a cool view of the lake below.
Keep the calendar open for next year, I'll be heading back to Green Lake and would like to take a group from Ohio with me. I'll keep everyone posted on the date & details for next year.
Next is Yut-C Sept. 20 then Akron Marathon Sept. 27 (yes that's seven days later) and Columbus Marathon in Oct.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008