20 degrees and 20 mph winds did not stop me or hundreds of other trail runners today! I came across this race a week ago and promptly signed up. I had a 20 miler scheduled for today anyway and figured it would be nice to get a training run in on different trails with the support of aide stations. Also, I love the trail running community!
The Naked Bavarian is held in Leesport, PA on the beautiful trails surrounding Blue Marsh Lake. It is a lollipop course with 6 miles out, 7 mile loop, and 6 back…although not exactly, because it’s a 20.7 mile route 🙂 The trails are nicely maintained with an occasional root or rock, some sections with some erosion we had to be careful of, a few climbs, but otherwise, very runnable and less technical that the ones I run on most of the time.
I grew up in the Berks county area and have family there, so it made for a nice visit. I had less than a 20 minute drive from my brother-in-law’s house to get to Blue Marsh.
My Dad met me before the start to see me off. It was 23 degrees!
Got my bib and then sat in the warm car for a half hour or so until 8:15. Meanwhile, the 40 mile racers started at 8:00.
Lined up for the race around 8:15.
A pleasant surprise to run into a fellow local trail runner, Scott, at the start!
Because of the temps, I also did not use my hydration bladder because the water always freezes in the straw. I used two bottles instead: one for water and one for Nuun. The aide stations were packed with all the food you could want so I didn’t even need my own. During the race I ate bananas, peanut butter crackers, bacon (really hit the spot!), oranges, and peanut butter and jelly quarter sandwiches.
I felt great the whole time until the last mile when my body felt tired. I expected this as I’ve only gone over 16 once so far this training, which was the 19 I did last week. Otherwise, I was running comfortably. Since the trails were a little easier than I’m used to, my easy pace was faster than usual. I really enjoyed the few climbs we had though! This race really is a nice mix of trail. Although I prefer more woodsy sections, it’s nice to have some different scenery once in awhile. I also enjoyed talking to a few people along the way. It’s always interesting to hear what people are training for and what races they’ve done so far. Seems like a lot of runners from today will be back on April 1st for the Naked Prussian!
Right after the last aide station I ran up to a girl who was wearing Altra Lone Peaks so we chatted about them. In the last mile of the race she gave me a few words of encouragement which helped me finish even stronger. Turns out she’s training for the MMT 100. Maybe that will be me someday!?
Finished in 3 hours 24 minutes or something like that.
After showering and packing up, I met my Dad at V & S for some food. If you are ever in Berks County and want some sandwiches, find a V & S. I grew up eating from this place and all I could think about during the race was their fries…so this happened…
Have you done your first race for 2017?
Is there a food or drink that brings you back to your high school days or is it just me?