On Sunday, I ran the inaugural Five Trails Half Marathon in Leavenworth, KS. This is my home town and it was exciting to be a part of their very first half marathon. The race went really well for a first-time event. It was well organized and had a great turnout. About 260 people showed up to run the crazy-steep hills in the rain in little ol' Leavenworth. That was exciting.
Although I lived in Leavenworth from ages 12-18, I never bothered to learn about its history. I remember bits of it from school, but didn't retain anything. I knew that it was a small town and I was bored there and that was it! When I came back to do this race, I wondered why it was called the "Five Trails" Half, even though the course didn't include a single trail. It was run entirely on streets and I didn't even know of any trails in Leavenworth. Then my mom told me they were historic trails: The Oregon Trial, The Leavenworth-Pikes Peak Express, Mormon Pioneer Trail, California Trail and Santa Fe Trail. Pretty cool!
Kansas has a reputation for being flat. In 2003, three geographers did a study that compared the flatness of an IHOP pancake to Kansas. The result was that Kansas is in fact flatter than a pancake! But if you've ever ventured off the interstate and gone running in the rolling plains of eastern Kansas, you'd beg to differ. This course was hilly!
That's one voluptuous pancake!
The weather was perfect for running. It was overcast and lightly raining. My mom, younger sister Teresa and I all ran. My youngest sister Erin would have, but she is out with a stress fracture in her foot. Teresa thinks of herself as the non-athletic, non-competitive one, but I knew she had been training pretty hard for this race. I had only a week and a half of running between my rest period after the 50 and this race. I decided I would try to stick with Teresa. That lasted about 2.5 miles. I kept her in sight for about 7 miles, then she completely dropped me and went on be the 2nd female finisher! Her time was 1:41, which was a PR by 10+ minutes!! I think she's doping (shhhh).
There's Teresa making it look easy.
I finished 6th with a time of 1:47 which wasn't a PR, but I did get my first age group award that was not by default. I was 2nd in my age group and got a pint glass from the High Noon Saloon and a complimentary entry into next year's race. My mom got a PR (by 8 minutes) and finished in 2:28 and was 3rd in her age group (but I won't tell you what age group that is since I know she reads my blog). We forgot to get a picture of us all together with our pint glasses.
We made Erin get out of the car and run the last 1.5 miles with my mom on her injured foot. Don't feel sorry for her, she was happy for the "permission" to run!
It was really neat to run in my home town. Every road brought back a ton of memories. I didn't remember the hills being quite so steep...guess I blocked those out. There was a water station at every single mile! I don't think I've ever seen that much aid in a race, but better to have too much than too little. I couldn't believe how many volunteers and spectators came out in the rain to watch the race and cheer on the runners. There was cheering along the entire course. That really surprised me since it was small race in a small town. Tracey from Midwest Running Mom came out to cheer because she lives nearby. Unfortunately she is injured as well, otherwise she would have been out there running. It was really great to see her again. Especially at the top of a long, steep climb!
I passed someone in the last mile. Yay!
I will definitely be using my complimentary entry to next year's race. It was just too fun to pass up and was even worth the 10 hour night drive.