Prerace Info – I am a total road runner. Even running cross country in high school I hated if courses were muddy. Heavy, wet shoes are one of my top running pet peeves. That said I willingly signed up for the Sasquatch 5k trail run when Jason decided to use his complimentary entry from work to sign up for the 10k. I figured it would be a low key, no pressure way to get back into racing following my hamstring injury. Besides I couldn’t really bash trail running if I never had ran an actual trail race right?
Race Week – Jason and I ran 8 miles on Sunday to get one last long run in before vacation and the race. Tuesday we left for Ocean City, MD with my parents and enjoyed a nice day on the beach. Wednesday morning we set out for a run that quickly ended for me courtesy of vacation food and humidity creating an upset stomach. I finished 3 miles and walked a bit of the boardwalk before managing another mile. Jason and dad logged 7. We had another great day on the beach. Thursday was overcast and a bit windy so Jason and I visited Berlin and we returned home on Friday.
The Race – Dad and Armand picked Jason and I up Saturday morning for the race. The weather was ideal for running with lower temps and humidity. I wanted to wear my sunglasses but chose not to as I figured I needed to be able to see any obstacle in my path. I had picked up our packets on Friday, so once we parked in a field we walked around a bit and began our warmup. Our shoes quickly became wet from the high grass and I cringed. I debated changing into dry socks, but we found a road to run on and my shoes dried out a bit before the start. Jason and dad began their 10k at 9am with Armand and I starting the 5k 15 minutes later to the firing of the cannon by “Cannonball Charlie” of the York Revolution baseball team.
The beginning of the 5k differed from the 10k in that we headed to the left and completed a small loop in the field where my group had warmed up. The footing wasn’t too bad though the high grass definitely made for a slow start. There were two barriers to go over (I’m not sure if they were a type of horse jump) within the first quarter mile. They weren’t meant to be jumped over in my opinion as they were over a foot tall though I’m sure taller and/or more agile runners likely did. We crossed back through the start line and proceeded to go right, the direction the 10k started.
I went into the race having no expectations other than just trying to enjoy it and see how I did. I had viewed the 2018 results and saw only 22 runners completed the 5k in under 30 minutes which told me the course was likely tough. Within the first mile though I had already decided I wanted to try to break 30 minutes.
At the start of the race the director told us that the 5k course had not one, but two creek crossings. I was aware of the one not far from the finish but was not thrilled to hear of a second one. The first one wasn’t overly deep, about knee high (I’m 5’4″) though it did slow me down quite a bit as I walked through it, not wanting to slip on the rocks. It was very cold water but actually felt refreshing on the legs. I’m not sure if my shoes survived it better than expected or if I was just so focused on the race, but I didn’t notice my shoes squishing.
The 5k course was a mix of trail along the creek (which I was told in 2018 was totally washed out from rain and a total mess which likely explains the slow times) and some pastures. There were some hills that were very short but somewhat steep. What made those challenging is some had another barrier to climb over shortly after topping the hill. I found that to be rather exhausting.
The final creek crossing was deeper and up to the middle of my thigh (myself and another female walked across holding up the edges of our shorts) and just as cold as the first. Upon exiting the creek I began feeling grit beneath my feet and was grateful to soon be finished. I climbed a short hill with a sharp switchback and conquered another barrier (at that point I was cursing them) before giving a high five to a Sasquatch. I made it over the final barrier and cruised a downhill pasture to the finish line. My final time was 29:38 which I was more than happy with.
Post Race – I congratulated Armand (who finished at least 30 seconds ahead of me) and got some water and waited for dad and Jason to finish the 10k. It was very apparent watching the finishers who ran the 10k and who ran the 5k as the 10k runners looked beat and the 5k runners looked much happier. Dad came in right around 1:01 and told me not to expect Jason for a bit as it was a really tough course. Surprisingly Jason rolled in right under 1:03 which pleased him since had had a time goal of 1:05. Unfortunately he had experienced a back spasm about 4.5 miles in and continued to push through it which resulted in it continuing to spasm after and him being barely able to move most of the weekend. As of this writing he is slowly returning to normal function with the use of a heating pad, Aleve and yoga stretches.
Armand was the first one to hit up the beer truck for free beer, but the rest of us passed. We did partake in the lunch catered by White Rose Bar & Grille which consisted of pulled pork, mac and cheese and corn. There were also apples and bananas provided by Flinchbaughs Orchard. The results came quickly and I actually finished 2nd in my age group and Armand won his. Despite good races, dad and Jason did not place but they had rather tough competition in their age groups (31-40 and 51-60). My winner’s envelope contained a Sasquatch patch, half price entry for next year’s event and a coupon for a free small smoothie from Smoothie King which I redeemed later that day.
Sasquatch Preservation Trail Run 5 and 10K
34 of 245
10 of 131
2 of 37
Summary – Overall I had a very decent experience in my first trail race. I certainly haven’t been bitten by the “trail bug” (though Jason might’ve been) and am very grateful I ran the 5k after hearing how hard the 10k was (dad and Jason “hiked” at least 3 hills during it). The 5k course appears to be more of a cross country course with the 10k being more of an actual trail race. At a cost of $25 ($5 more for a tshirt) I think it’s a great value particularly because of the post-race lunch. It was a well hosted event. I will likely run the 5k again next year as Jason wants to do the 10k again and beat my dad. Fingers crossed the course stays as nice and dry as this year and I won’t be running in mud!