async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Beaver Trail 5k Race Recap

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Beaver Trail 5k Race Recap

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

When I planned my trip to see Holly last weekend, she sent me the link to the Beaver Trail 5k race. "I think we need a beaver shirt", she said. The race was new this year. I'd never run a trail race but the 5k distance made it feel accessible. The race was in Lagoon Park in Montgomery. Holly and I ran there last year, so I was glad to go back.

In spite of my running struggles this year or maybe because of them, a trail race sounded perfect to me. I figured that if I wasn't feeling well, I could walk the 5k distance. If I ran it, I could take it slow because...trail race! It was all good.



Holly and I woke up at 6 to get ready to make the trek to Montgomery. As I always do every morning, I had a couple cups of coffee with GLG collagen and the half and half that Holly bought for me. Gotta love that...

Anyhoo, we pulled up to Lagoon Park and were directed to park on the grass. Holly and I ran here last year, so I was somewhat familiar with the layout of the park. We didn't run the trails though.

When we walked over to the race area, we ran into Barbara, a local runner that Holly knew. I follow her on IG and it was nice to meet her!

Packet pickup was in the park building. I was a little disappointed when I found out they didn't have small t-shirts. I used the indoor bathroom and we lined up with the other participants. There was a prayer and then we were off. It was pretty warm and humid. I ran this race without music.

Such a pretty trail!
Holly and I ran together for about a half mile and then she dropped back. I looked down at my watch to make sure I wasn't running too fast. I spotted a 9:30 pace and I settled in. We ran across a grassy field and then we were on the trails. For the first mile or so, the trails were flat. The race organizers spray painted the roots bright orange, so there was no missing them. There were a lot of roots. It had to take them a long time to paint them all!

I passed a lot of runners that first mile or so. There were a lot of kids who went out too fast. After the first mile, I didn't see any of them and I settled in with a group of runners for a while. The next mile was on a single track path and that made it challenging to pass any of them. The course became really hilly. Between that and all the tree roots, I really had to watch my pace. I found myself slowing down.  A woman in front of me tripped over a root and I heard an "ooh" as she went down. She got right back up, though, and kept going.

The last mile was tough. I made the decision to walk the uphills and run the downhills, which paid off well for me. Some of the downhills were really steep! The last half mile was flat. We had to run around the ponds to the finish line. I was glad to be done.


I waited for Holly to finish. The finish times were posted on the picnic shelter and we were happy to see that we both, as well as Barbara, placed in our age groups! That's one way to get a medal at a 5k, right?


What a fun experience! If I have to drop down to running shorter distances, I'm thinking trail races might be the way to go. I was really impressed that the race organizers took the time to mark the roots on the race course. The AG medals with the beaver logo were really cute. There was a nice spread of treats at the finish line. For the $25 registration fee, I feel like I got way more than my money's worth.  And even though it was my slowest 5k ever, I felt good and enjoyed myself. Plus, it was on trails.


I think this is perfect for me right now.


My first trail run was fun and I even won my AG!/via @oldrunningmom @hohoruns #runchat #trailrunning #running #alabama


Have you ever run a trail race? Do you find that you run much slower on trails? 

I'm linking this post with Running Coaches' Corner--Debbie and Marc.








28 comments :

  1. Yay! Congratulations! I don't think you can compare your trail pace to your road pace at all - unless you're a bunny I think you're trail pace would have to be slower. It's awesome that they marked the roots. When I broke my foot a few years ago hiking, I did it tripping over a root .... There's a trail race here in July I'm eyeing ...

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    1. I've got another trail 5k coming up in June--it's in northern Wisconsin!

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  2. I love trail races and I’m definitely slower on them, partly because I’m a klutz and I really hate to fall! I’m so glad you had a great race and congrats on your age group win!

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    1. I really enjoyed myself and the heat and humidity didn't bother me at all. It was an all around win for me!

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  3. Sounds like a really great race and I love that they spray painted the roots to make sure that runners could see them!

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    1. I couldn't believe they did that! There were so many roots that it had to take a long time to paint them all. I appreciated the effort.

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  4. I've never done a trail race. It's been over a year since I sprained my ankle running on my local trail - I'm still a little afraid of going back.

    BTW - I bought the pineapple slicer you recommended - that thing is awesome!

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    1. I'm so glad you like it! Doesn't it make eating pineapple so much easier?

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  5. Congrats on placing in your age group! It sounds like it was a really fun race! I did a trail race in January, although it was more cross-country style than some trails I've run before. Next year I have my eye on a few trails races... there is one 10K trail race I'd love to do this November, but I don't know if I'll be ready for it.

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    1. I was surprised at how technical this little race was! I enjoyed the challenge and it was something different. Looking forward to more trail races!

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  6. That sounds like a really well done trail race - I'm impressed with how they marked all of the trip hazards. And really happy the the race went so well for you, woohoo!

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  7. I love trail running. Stumble or trip almost every run, but I'm kind of clumsy. There are great trails in So Wisconsin. You should check out Kenosha Running Company. They have great runs, very low key. No medals and you choose your distance. Brian, the RD, measures out a loop and you do however many you want. They have really good post run food. Tacos, crepes, corned beef & cabbage, depends on the run.

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    1. I will definitely check it out. Let me know when you're going--I'd love to join you!

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  8. Brilliant, well done! I love how the organisers sprayed the roots for you. I have a difficult time as a cross country assistant referee in training working out what we leave for the runners to deal with and what we tape off!! I am not the biggest fan of trails but have a 10 mile trail race in June as prep for my ultra. Love the strong pics of you running and you three strong ladies - very inspiring!

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    1. This was a really fun experience and not too taxing, since we had plans to get back out on the water!

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  9. Fantastic!! Congrats on the AG win and I LOVE that medal - omg it's hilarious. You know I agree that trail races are a great way to get your head out of your, um, well, you know...when it comes to running. I'm so glad you enjoyed this race and hope you can find more locally!

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    1. I loved the laid back vibe and that there was no pressure to pass people. Actually, you couldn't because it was a single track path. Trail running may be the thing that keeps me going!

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  10. Congrats on your AG win, Wendy! Don't you love trail races? I haven't run a trail race in over a year. I'd wanted to run the same one again this year, but my injury kept me from it, but there's always next year!

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  11. Nice job! Trail runs are the best - smart to walk up the hills that's what I usually do too. Sometimes even down them depending how rocky they are. And yes, I think everyone needs a beaver race shirt :)

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  12. Way to go placing in your age group! I love trail running and it is definitely nice when they alert you to the roots!

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  13. Nice job Wendy. Congrats on the AG win.

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  14. It's normal to run much slower on trails. My trail half was my slowest half ever (of course, it was also quite muddy). If you don't slow down, you're very likely to get injured.

    Having the roots spray painted is always a nice touch -- but in my limited experience, it doesn't happen a lot. There's one race that I've run a number of times -- just a small portion of it is on a trail -- but they do spray paint the roots, which is super helpful because it's very wooded & it's dark in there!

    Congrats on your wins, and how fun to meet someone you follow on IG!

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    1. I've never run a trail race but I was pretty surprised that they spray painted all the roots! I picture a trail race being no frills and pretty rustic. This one was pretty luxurious as far as a trail race goes. It was a good way for me to get my feet wet!

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