Thursday, April 28, 2016

(2-20-2016) Viking Winter Dash 15K

I regularly get emails from American Multi-Sport and when I saw what the medal was going to be for this event, I was tempted. But Muncie, IN isn't THAT close to where I live so I didn't initially sign up. Then my friend Allison sent out a group email a couple of days before one of the price increases - and she said she would drive - so I caved into the peer pressure and registered. With taxes and fees my total cost was $65.99. This was in early November and the race date was February 19th so like usuall...I forgot about it until it got closer.

All along I figured I would try to dress the part and had planned on getting a costume online.
I posted this "sneak peak" photo on Facebook of the costume but didn't indicate what it was. It is fun to keep people guessing!

Allison met me at the Cracker Barrel just off the interstate since she was coming from the West and we needed to head northeast for the event. The "Barrel" is only about 15(?) minutes or less from my house. I ended up driving to the event and after one interstate snafu - there was an accident so we had to reroute ourselves - we got to the race location in plenty of time.

Pre-race CLEAN SHOES photo op!
The Warrior Vikings were starting to line up!

Trying to strike a fierce Viking Warrior pose!
Pre-race selfie with Allison
The weather for this event was unseasonably warm for mid-February. I had initially worn a black short sleeved tech shirt under my Viking costume but decided to swap that out and put on the long sleeved race tech shirt they gave us instead. I would have been fine staying with short sleeves. I ditched my throw-away after about a mile and there were times - since there was FULL SUN beating down on us - that I got too warm. Allison should not be trusted as a weather barometer since she is very cold natured!

To follow are just a bunch of pictures from the course.  This was only my second true trail event and I'm not a fan of mud. Sorry, I'm just not.  I was trying to avoid it like it was nobody's business. Some guy yelled to me "Embrace the mud, girl!" to which I hollered back, "No way, man!" There wasn't mud everywhere but there was enough for me!

See....deep sloppy mud!

This is also a horse path. Luckily this sign below wasn't for me since you could go left or right!

Which way do I go? Hmmmmm....

Warrior Viking Shadow

Technically, the "trail" ended here but we continued on.

As the sign indicates this was the turnaround and our bib number was checked at this point. But everyone standing behind this gate made me think that they were on display.
 "Please don't feed the people"

So that hill we started on and ran DOWN initially....yeah, we had to run up it at the finish.

You can tell that Allison did not try to avoid the mud like I did.
My shoes are definitely cleaner!

I had the idea to smear mud on my face before the finish.  So when I got closer to the clearing (and that HILL), I actually had to turn back around and find some mud to adorn myself with.  :)

Below is the official race finishers picture.  I let out a great big roar as I was crossing the finish line. Too bad I have my cell phone in my hand!

So this is the medal. It really was the draw for me to do this event but I must admit that in is the size of a letter opener. While it is unique and different I was disappointed.

Final thoughts on this event: although this was only my 2nd trail run, I just don't think I'm a fan. I can't imagine had I signed up to do it last year when they had all of the snow. I mean, I probably would have been a DNS. I'm glad I did it for the experience but I won't sign up to do it next year. The medal next year is some sort of Warrior hammer but seeing how the sword turned is not a drawing point for me. Overall, the race company runs a pretty good race. I wished there had been one more aid station out there since it was so sunny. I did not have my own water with me.  It was a pretty course and would probably be gorgeous in the Fall.

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