New Year's Day is my favorite holiday of the year. There is just something about starting the year off with a clean slate, with goals, desires, and the wonderment of thinking about what the next 365 days is going to bring. One of my personal traditions on each January 1 is the annual Hangover Run, put on by Run Wild Adventures.
This was my second year running in the short 3k event. While I wouldn’t necessarily classify this event as a full “workout”, it did get me out the door and starting 2014 off on the right foot. Run Wild Adventures always does races right. They had music playing, food and drinks available, and a local energy that RWA is known for.
There were 146 total runners, and all but a few admitted to being sober. We took off along the gravel road and made a quick turn before heading off on a half mile straightaway. We cut through the foggy afternoon skies and many runners joked along the way. This was pretty much the vibe of the race – a laid back atmosphere to get 2014 off and running. After the first 800 meters, we left the trail and snaked through the forest on grassy, yet well maintained trails. The trails were wide, well-marked, and easily navigable.
After another 400 meters or so, the forest was exited and we started heading back in the direction we came. We hit the only aid station right around mile 1. Yeah, that’s right – an aid station…for a 3k race. Well luckily for those of us 21+, that meant we got the Hangover Run “aid”, a cup of Seven Brides beer or a shot of Fireball Whiskey. Nothing warms you up in a foggy afternoon quite like knocking back a swig of this cheap (yet delicious) liquor.
Following this pitstop, we angled through an orchard before hitting some final trails to the finish. This spot really hit me (and no, not because of the alcohol). I ran without headphones today and for this section I was pretty much alone. The tree trunks were green with moss and the foggy haze trickled through the branches. It put off an almost Zen-like aura – eerily quiet and captivatingly pleasant. For a short stretch I felt one with nature – one with running, again. This was a good feeling for me, as I had really limited my running since Thanksgiving and had only ran twice in December – both races. I had been needing a break from logging miles and the end result was some weight gain and disapproval in my decision to take a break. Running here today, especially in this section of the course, brought back that feeling of desire to get back out there on a healthy running path in 2014.
After the race, there was warm homemade chicken noodle soup, hot chocolate, Silver Falls Coffee, Great Harvest Bread, and Seven Brides beer. Following some awards, the Beer Mile started. For those of you unfamiliar with a Beer Mile, here you go: drink a 12 oz beer, run a 1/4 mile, drink another beer, run another 1/4 mile, and so on until a mile is reached. Participants who vomit before they finish the race will have to complete a penalty lap at the end. If you check out the results below, you will see that the winner of the Beer Mile took 5th in the 3k and ran the Beer Mile in just over 6:00! That’s some amazing work there.
If you are wanting to participate in the next Run Wild Adventures race, register for the 2014 Buck Mountain Mudslinger 6.5m Trail Run on 2/22 for a mere $18.