This past weekend I had the opportunity to run a race new to me, the Naked Bavarian Trail Race. There was an option for 20 miles or for 40 miles. I opted for the 20 miler, since that is about where I am at in my training at the moment. I figured it would be a good “check in” race to see where I’m at and how I’m feeling so far in my progress as I train for Eagle Up Ultra in June. The course goes around Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, Pa. It was only an hour away and it was quite a beautiful day…..besides the wind chill and temps!! lol The sky was a gorgeous blue with big, fluffy clouds.
The 20 miler had a start time of 8:30am, which wasn’t too bad and meant I didn’t have to get up too insanely early! The drive out was enjoyable as I watched the sunrise along the way. I arrived just before the start of the 40 miles and got to see two of my running buddies off on their race.
It was a chilly 27 degrees with a real feel of something crazy….I don’t even wanna think about it! lol 🙂 After seeing my friends off, I headed back to my car to stay warm and get myself prepped for my race. One of the benefits of having run Devil Dog back in December and dealing with the ridiculous conditions there, the cold temps and wind of this race didn’t faze me at all. I made sure to have the layers I needed and wore my hydration pack underneath my zip up hoodie to keep my Nuun from freezing in the cold temps. Naturally, I had to have my phone with me so I could take plenty of pictures! One of the things I have learned to do on runs is to turn my phone to Airplane Mode to save battery power and my sanity! That way I don’t have to hear constant chiming or buzzing while I’m running, but still have my phone on me to take pictures. I headed out for the start and came across another running friend, John, who would be running the 20 miler as well. We chatted briefly about the race and before we knew it, it was time to start running. There was a fair number of participants for the race. I do believe the final count was 363. That was nice because that meant there would always be someone to run beside.
The course was nice and not boring at all. There were great views of the lake, some ‘scary’ 🙂 down-hills, steep up-hills and relaxing flat sections. I will be honest with you and say there was one particular steep section I could have done without!! It was nasty, not a single person around me ran up that thing. We all were hiking as best we could. Of course, that was at the halfway point. Mile 10 was literally on the top of this stinking mountain! lol
It was my slowest mile of the whole race, but the view from the top was pretty cool. 🙂
The volunteers at each aid station were just the best. They were all very sweet and kind, especially being out there freezing their butts off! We, at least, were moving so we could warm up, but they stood around in the cold for hours. The snacks and treats were also pretty awesome….cheese balls, pb & jelly sandwiches, chocolate covered cookies, fig newtons, pretzels, soda, Gatorade, french fries, BACON, and so much more!! I got home and discovered I had taken some snacks home in my hoodie pockets! lol 🙂
I felt pretty good for the majority of the race, but I will be honest and say, that by the time I got to about 18.5 miles I was looking at my watch thinking, ‘Is this thing over yet?!?’. The last two miles were full of several steep inclines that were quite difficult to maneuver up with such tired legs. I swear that last mile had to have been up hill the whole way! Ha, ha! 🙂
I crossed the finish line at 3:51:33, with an official finish time of 3:52:04. I came in 142 out of 363….not too shabby! I was hoping for a 4 hour finish, so I was super happy to have come in under 4 hours. If you are looking for a long trail race or a new ultra marathon challenge, I would definitely recommend any of the races run by Uber Endurance Sports. They do a great job of putting on a good race and keeping costs low but still making it a lot of fun. Our finishers ‘medal’ was a Beer Growler…..yes please! 🙂 Check out the slide show below of my pictures from the course…enjoy and until next time…NEVER GIVE UP! 🙂