Finished in 2:50:08 (official time); no new PR
Overall Place: 93/140
Men 40-49: 15/20
Timed race #116
A new race to me. I've only done a few other 25k's and it's a great distance. The park was awesome and the course was really nice and very flat. The race was well organized and not a big race which is also nice. I would definitely run this one again.
Registration was online and very simple. You could pick your packet up at the local running store or the day of the race. Because it's about an hour and 45 minutes away, my running buddy, Kevin and I opted to pick up our race packet that morning. There were two volunteers helping and we were done quickly.
|Registration inside this very nice structure with real bathrooms|
The race had the course map set up which was basically a 25k loop around the park.
|Map of course|
We got there a little early and was able to look around. The park itself (Oak Openings) is incredible. This is a very nice place. I wish it were closer to us as I'd love it if I could run this course regularly. They had a lake that I think was man-made but really very nice. The fog was still burning off when we got there. It was very humid the entire race.
|Lake with the fog|
|Finish line set up|
There was an area by the lake where we waited to start. The 50k went off first then 25k then 5k. There was about 30 minutes between races. Given the small size of the races, we really could have started 10-15 minutes later.
|Runners ready to run|
|We lined up about 70% back|
The course was a flat, well marked trail. While the race marked the trails, there were also yellow dots to keep you on track that were part of the regular trail system. The race did a good job stating that for us in case we got lost (and there was not real way to get lost)
|Elevation - very flat!|
|A little back up at the start|
|Running over the bridge|
|Still foggy at the start|
|Kevin was enjoying himself|
|Me just plugging along|
|Cool trail marker|
It was interesting that we ran up right next to the road but it was short lived and headed back into the woods quickly.
|Next to the road|
|Another bridge to run over|
|Steps on the course|
|Another awesome area|
|Some nice single track|
|50k ran the course twice|
|Sun coming out. Yellow dot marking trail|
|Some single track|
|This area of the trail reminds me of a section of the North Country Trail I run in Northern Michigan|
|Structures with picnic area|
|Nothing better than running through pines|
|People were cheering here for runners|
|Finish line just past the bridge|
The aid stations were well stocked especially given there was a 50k going on. The volunteers did a great job helping us runners.
|Busy aid station|
The finish area was right where the start was located. The race had pancakes after the race but we decided to get a regular meal on the ride home.
|A fun 25k|
For your entry, you received a marked and supported course. You received a bib with a timing chip, an awesome race medal and a very nice Brooks shirt. I love seeing that the race was able to offer all this for such a reasonable price($45 plus service fee).
|Medal close up|
|Great tech shirt by Brooks|
|Sponsors on the back|
The organization was good. The website had all information you would need. The packet pickup was easy. The course was marked well except one part that was a little confusing but either way led to the same direction. The medal and shirt are awesome. Very well done for a small race.
Overall, I really like the challenge of the 25k. It makes for a little more effort but is worth it. The course is very flat and a perfect course especially for new runners looking to try a trail race. It's also great for 50k runners to make things a little easier. The aid stations were well stocked, organized and well run by volunteers. I love the variety of the trail here. The shirts and medals were awesome and make me want to come back again. I will definitely run this race again in the future even given the long drive from Michigan that morning. You could also opt to camp nearby too. This is a race you should put on your bucket list. I'm really happy that I decided to go down and race it.
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!
Disclosure: I paid for this race with my own funds. All opinions are my own.