This morning hubby and I ran the Spillway Classic, a kind of silly 3 mile race through the woods and swamp and levees. It's held in Norco, which is the name of a narcotic pain killer and, coincidentally, a small industrial town outside of New Orleans. The idea behind the race is to get dirty, sweaty, and muddy. There are awards for the muddiest finishers and, as popularity of the race has grown, quite the post race party. This year we had hot dogs, MASSAGES, beer, and snowballs. Dude, snowballs! My idea of post-race food!
I decided that this mud-fest would be a great way to kiss the Nikes goodbye. I got about 650 miles out of them and the soles are completely worn away at the ball of the foot. It doesn't help that I land on the insides of my feet, so they wear unevenly, but seriously these things didn't hold up well at all. Today was their farewell race.
Actually I accidentally threw these out a few weeks ago when I bought my newest shoes but I made David fish them out of the trash for me, right before the garbage men came. What did God make husbands for, anyway?
So, the race review: The spillway classic is oodles of fun, but it is not a race you run for time. Period. Here's why: the course starts on a levee, then descends into swampy woods in a single file trail. To run fast you have to basically be the first person at the start, because you can do little passing on the levee (it's narrow, there are 2000 people on it, and the sides are steep crumbly dirt so you can't skip out on the edges to pass unless you feel like tumbling down the levee). Once you get into the woods, there are two gigantic mud pits and one large muddy puddle, in which all the people you didn't pass on the levee slip, slide, and splash (ok, I may have done some splashing, too. Mud is fun when you have old shoes). Then everyone HALTS!!! Screeching halt!!! This is the point at which runners realize that they are actually entering a narrow, hilly path in the woods. The couch-to-5kers freak out for a moment, then everyone comes to grip with the fact that the only way out is the mud puddles or the woods. The column gradually eases forward. Then you run single file through hills, bridges, roots, fallen logs, ramps, etc - all fun stuff - in the woods. You come out in a grassy field right at the finish, boom, you're done. The only time you have for a sprint is on the grass...if sprinting is your thing.
Spillway Pros: Totally fun, great chance for trail running, technical T-shirt, really good post-race party, firefighters spraying off the muddy runners afterward, choice of ale or light beer, first 500 finishers get some kind of goofy award. Here's this year's:
It's a BOTTLE OPENER! How freaking adorable is that!!! I love!!!
Spillway Cons: Really none, but just for disclosure it's only 3 miles, it's in BFE, and it's not a race you run for time (not just because of the trails and mud; also the super slow start). Like no PRs here.
I definitely had fun, but we started way in the back today and literally no one passed me. I only passed other people - including about 12 people in the woods, just for grins. Next year I'd try to scoot up to the front a little more because we were really going SLOOOOW in the woods.
Moral dilemma: I try to start with the same group I'll finish with. I don't want to be blocking any speedy runner's way, but I also don't like being behind lots of walkers and slow pokes. Now that I got hubby to drink the running Kool Aid, he's starting with me much of the time. Unfortunately, since he's slower, we've been starting more to the back. Should I still start at the frontish? Make him start behind me? Just shut up and stay towards the back? Opinions from other racers, please!