Lake of the Woods has always been a very special place for me. Every summer for 7 years straight, I have been coming up to spend a week of lounging, water skiing, swimming, and paddle boarding. It was not until last summer that I noticed they had a Tri-Sport Weekend Event the same time I was planning on being there. After running in the half marathon in 2017, I knew I had to sign up for the half marathon again in 2018.
The Lake of the Woods Tri-Sport Weekend approached very quickly. We arrived Friday 9/7 and there were already people setting up for the fun weekend that lied ahead. With multiple sports and events to choose from, the organizers did a great job with the scheduling of events. All the Tri events were on Saturday and the running events were left for Sunday. To maintain organization, participants were asked to pick up their race packets, race day. ( I prefer this option, even if it does mean I have to wait in line for my packet).
Race day was finally here. I was so excited to run my first all trail half marathon. Picking up my packet was a dream. There was no line and the organizers were so great at answering all my questions about the course. Our start time was at 9:00 am, and participants all started gathering around for the pre-race meeting. We all gathered to hear about the course, answer any questions and tell us about what was in store for us during the race. After the meeting, we then proceeded to the start and we were off!
There were the perfect amount of participants, especially for a trail half marathon. The course consisted of all trail, some obstacles, beautiful views, a few hills, and some fun. The first 3 miles were a single track trail, until finally hitting a larger trail for the remainder of the course. The elevation gain was 862 ft, this was very challenging for me! The major obstacle was around mile 6, a tree had fallen over the course and participants had to go over the tree to continue on the path. Around mile 7 to 8 runners turned around to head towards the finish line. It was a fun way to see other participants and cheer each other along the way. Finally, mile 12 came and I knew I had to be getting close to the finish. Unfortunately, I am not the best with directions and must have made a wrong turn along the way, because I somehow went the opposite way into the finish line. Although, thankfully I was not the only one who made that mistake.
The course was challenging, with elevation, hills, and the tree obstacle. It was scenic, and offered aid/ water at the right spots along the course. Organizers and volunteers were so helpful and supportive for all the participants.
Once most of the runners had crossed the finish line, they started the awards ceremony. I was so excited and shocked to hear that I had gotten first place for my age group and second place female. I was handed an engraved medal and a blue ribbon.
I highly recommend running in the half or full marathon at Lake of the Woods Tri-Sport Weekend, especially if you love running trails. The organizers are so great, and the courses are truly mesmerizing. For a full list of events offered during the Tri-Sport Weekend, you can find HERE.