The Lebanon 10K trail race is one of five races in the Endless Summer Trail Run Series (ESTRS) hosted by Twin Cities Running Company and Rocksteady Running.
Looking back and reviewing my thoughts on this race I realized that it gave me a lot of firsts for one little 10K run.
- This was my first race where it rained through the entire event.
- First race I’ve ever gone to completely solo. Drove there myself. Check in and packet pickup on my own. Started running alone. After party of one. Drove home by myself. There are pros and cons to this. I had the freedom to do things on at my own pace and didn’t worry about where anyone else was or how to meet up or any of those coordination items. That said, it was super lonely! I don’t think I would go it alone again if I could avoid it. The after party was especially lonely. It was a great event with pizza and beer and I just didn’t have anyone to share it with and recount the race with.
- Not my first trail race but it was my first trail 10K!
- First 10K that was a 3 mile loop twice.
- First race on a Tuesday evening after work.
- First race while recording with a GoPro.
The night before was a Monday evening. I packed everything I would need into my gym bag instead of laying it out as I would for other races simply because the race was after work and not my first item of the day. I also knew it would probably be rainy so I brought my rain jacket, a plastic sandwich bag for my phone and a towel for after the race.
After work on Tuesday I drove over to Lebanon Hills Regional Park and parked in the overflow lot. Check in was seamless. I gave the volunteers my name and bib # and was good to go. Race registration also included glassware from Solomon. Since my car was at the overflow lot, it was raining, and I didn’t have anyone with me to hold my stuff I hid my glass by one of the picnic tables. Felt very sneaky for doing this but it worked out fine and was waiting for me when I finished.
I have to give race directors a shout out for starting on time. And I mean really on time. Super punctual. The race was scheduled to start at 6:30 and we started exactly at 6:30 pm.
The race started on asphalt and quickly progressed into the trail through the woods. It had been raining for 4 days in the Minneapolis area prior to Tuesday. The mud was out of control and it was very difficult to not slip and fall. Great workout but made for some slow running.
The first 3 miles felt like they flew by. I had turned off the voice notifications on my Map My Run app to avoid bothering anyone and I didn’t notice any mile markers. If they were there, I didn’t see them. The whole time I didn’t know how far I was which I think made the time seem to go by faster. Aid station was great (back at the start/finish) with water, gels, and really supportive volunteers cheering. The second loop felt like it went by more slowly. I think this was because I knew I was repeating everything I had just run through, I was more tired, and more soaked by then. (Disclaimer: It wasn’t pouring, just a heavy mist/drizzle. If it had been an outright downpour I might not have stuck it out!) The park trail was beautiful despite the weather. Picture lots of green foliage with wood bridges throughout.
I finished in little under an hour and 17 minutes. Not too shabby for me considering the muddy trail and rain! It was a great workout and I am proud of my time.
Afterwards there was pizza and beer. Pizza and lemonade for me since I was driving myself home. I have to say though, it tasted like the best meal ever after running in the rain for an hour! This was a very well organized race and I truly enjoyed myself. The volunteers were so nice, helpful, and encouraging. I would absolutely run another ESTRS race again. Next time though, I’m bringing some friends! 🙂