On Saturday, February 6th, several friends and I loaded up and headed for the small town of Dexter. We were all excited as it was our first “in person” race in over a year – the Bristow Trail Runs by Level 32 Racing. We didn’t know exactly what to expect but we were all so excited to “race.”
As we pulled into Elijah Bristow Start Park, it almost felt surreal that we were actually participating in something. We put on our running buffs and got out of the car to go get our race bibs. Everything felt so normal. The start/finish line was all right there next to the tent where we picked up our race bibs. Announcements were being made overhead as the 50k had already started and the 25k was getting ready to start. Like a said – it was truly a dream.
The weather was perfect for racing but too cold to just stand around for 45 minutes, regardless of how much excitement was pouring through my veins. When I got back to the starting area, I was ready to go! I met up with my running buddies, who had all arrived by this time and everyone was just so happy to be there! As I looked around, I felt positive energy from everyone – from the volunteers to every runner out there. We were all happy to be able to be at a live event.
The race director gave us directions as we lined up. Everything was very organized and seemed well planned out, which was great considering the circumstances. We started off, one runner at a time, about every 6-10 sec apart to allow for some spacing to kick things off. The course, as was stated on the website, proved accurate – a flat trail with mud. It was about as flat as a trail can get anyway. There were a few very small inclines, but overall would have been a fast course…if it wasn’t for the mud. HA!
I am a road runner so even a flat trail run is challenging for me. Adding in slop had me working hard for my finish! I ran the 10 miler, which was actually a little over as each loop was 5.2 miles. The loop itself was well marked with arrow signs and staffed with volunteers so I knew what direction to turn each time I came to turn. There was a “hydration station” on the course, but wasn’t as easy to access as we are expected to, as they were in small water bottles due to the COVID mandates. However, it was nice to still have access to the water I needed out there as I didn’t carry any myself.
After the finish, we were handed a medal and drinks and snacks were available as well. There was plenty of space to distance and watch other runners come in. Gordon was on the race course and later at the finish line getting race photos (GCC Photography). His photos are available to look at and buy here.
I loved this race. Even though it was a little bit off the beaten path, a little bit of a challenge with the mud, it still had great organization and was a blast! I would do this race again next year and highly recommend you check it out!
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