5 Peaks trail running series – Durham Forest – June 12th, 2010
I love trail running. About 2 years ago in looking for a new challenge I made the transition from road running to trail racing and despite the new scars and the lack of ‘port-a-potties’ in the woods, it has become a new favourite event of mine. It’s little like an underground elite club in some respects because the events aren’t as highly publicized as road races and the participant cutoffs are much smaller than a road race. All of the trail runs/ultra I’ve done so far have been in the USA, so, I was very excited to find some trail runs much more locally.
The Durham Forest race is the 2nd in the 5 peaks trail running Southern Ontario series. Durham Forest is a great venue for a trail race, with a mixture of double track, single track and a little sand thrown in near the end. Two different distances are offered; the Sport course which is 5.5km and the Enduro course which is 12.3km. As part of the days events, a children’s 1k challenge is also offered.
The night before the race there was a wicked thunderstorm and the day of the race dawned very cloudy and wet and it looked like it was going to be a washout. However, the skies cleared by the time of the race and the weather was pretty near perfect for racing. A little cool and cloudy. I love trail racing, not only for the scenery, but also for the technical challenges. If your mind wanders while you are trail racing, chances are you are going to trip on a tree root or a rock. Trust me I have experienced this first hand and can tell you this race was no different! About 8kms into the 12.3km Enduro course, I took my usual spill. Luckily the muddy ground broke my fall! So, other than a bit of wounded pride and a bit of mud, I was fine. I finished the race in just under 1:19.
This was my first 5 peaks race and I was impressed at the organization and volunteers. A great venue and a well organized event, what more can you ask for. Looking forward to participating in other 5 peaks races this season or next.