Hanging out with Medoc Man before the start of the Medoc Trail Race 10 miler.
For almost a year, I’ve been anticipating the Medoc Trail Race
that I ran last weekend. This race had been so hyped and praised, that I was afraid that I would be disappointed. I was NOT disappointed! The race definitely lives up to all the hype!
Last summer, I talked my friend Jim into running this race with me. So, for the last few months, we’ve been running different parts of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail around Falls Lake.
Campfire in the group camping area Friday night before the race.
On the Friday night before the race, we drove to Medoc Mountain State Park (just under an hour’s drive from my house) for packet pickup and to hang out with some of the other runners from WFAR. Since it was so close, we decided to opt out of the free camping so that we could sleep in our own beds. I think this was a good choice for us.
I ran the race as “Oh Possum”…
Packet pickup worked well, although it was a little dark. The flashlight app on my iPhone and the flashlight that my friend Jim brought were lifesavers. We needed them to check our packets and also to found our way to the group camp area. I also heard that they ran out of food for the Friday night pasta dinner. But, later, they were coming around to the campers who did not get food telling them that they were bringing more food in. So, it all worked out.
The parking field later in the morning.
When we arrived at 7:00, we were able to park in the 2nd row. The next morning, we rose early and made the drive back to Medoc Mountain State Park, arriving around 7:00 a.m.
Banner at the shelter.
As with all other logistical matters concerning this race, parking was handled with ease. We parked in a large field and made our way to the shelter to gather around a large fire in the fireplace. And, that fire was needed! It was cold!
Runners gathered around the shelter before the races started.
If there were any logistical problems at all with this race, it was a lack of food before the race. But, looking back, there was nothing said about providing food before the race. So, that was our problem. I had eaten a little before leaving the house, but Jim had not. Several people offered him some food, so it wasn’t a big deal.
Runners getting ready for the Medoc Trail Race marathon which started at 8:00 a.m.
The marathon started precisely at 8:00 a.m. It was fun cheering them on with the other runners waiting for the 10 miler. They ran down the road a short way before looping back and entering the woods on the trail.
After the marathoners cleared out, Jim and I ran a mile warmup. When we finished the warmup, it was time to gather around the starting line. Even before the start there was alot of joking and greeting and general good times. And, right on schedule, the 10 mile race started at 8:30 a.m.
Jim and I at the starting line of the 10 miler.
After just under 1.5 miles on the road (which worked great to space out the runners), we turned onto the trail. This was a fast and easy trail with only a few technical sections and one very tough hill. Not only were there water/aid tables spaced appropriately, there were also people walking along the trail with backpacks full of bottled water. Awesome!
The trail itself is wonderfully maintained, mostly dirt road type trails, with great views… which you are not able to enjoy because, well, you have to pay attention to the roots and rocks and stuff. Even though this trail is not as technical as the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, it still has its fair share of obstacles.
After the race with the awesome finisher medal!
I had hoped to finish the 10 mile race with a pace of 10:30 minutes/mile (total time of 1:45:00). Instead, this trail was so fast that I was able to finish much quicker than expected: 9:29 minutes/mile (official time of 1:34:56).
After the race, we were awarded with an awesome finisher medal and a handheld water bottle, plus plenty of food, drink, and excitement. I enjoyed some trail mix, red beans and rice, water, coffee, and other treats while listening to music and hanging out with other WFAR runners encouraging the marathon runners would pass by.
Hanging out with other WFAR runners after the 10 miler.
The Medoc Trail Race is truly a first-class experience. The organizers did a great job, the logistics were smooth, the weather was perfect (even though it was a little cool at first, it warmed up), and the awards were amazing. Seriously.
I hope to run this race again next year, and I’m leaning heavily towards running the “Re-Run” in a few weeks… hopefully running two loops of the trail for total of about 17 miles. We’ll see…