Run to Cookies? Is that a true incentive? YES! Kathie, Denise, Brian (another crazy) and I decided that getting up at 3:30 am to run a 20K outside of Madison was a good idea, for no reason other than that they have cookies—ENDLESS COOKIES—at the finish line. The Blue Mounds Trail Run is an awesome race, with a distance that varies from year to year due annual course changes. It offers a great selection of meadow running, single track, streams and gorgeous scenery. A good portion of it is on single track and is a great practice run for those doing any of the Superior Races.
Loading up the car at 3:30 am necessitated of coffee, a lot of coffee. In no time, we were headed down I94 for the four hour journey to Blue Mounds State Park, right outside of Madison. This run is so casual and laid back that you can literally roll in around 10 min before the race starts and still have time to spare. We picked up our shirts, pinned on our numbers, dumped our bags in the grass somewhere, took a poop and were ready to go by the 8:30 am start.
Brian, our fearless veteran, placed first in his age group with a 1:29:03 (a 7:10 pace) for the whole race. WHAT!? Denise finished third in her age group. Although Brian finished almost an HOUR before the rest of us, we had a great time and there were still plenty of cookies left to nibble down after the run. Luckily Brian snagged us a couple of the really good ones before they were all gone!
It was a beautiful day for a run. The 20K course had varying terrain and some amazing views. Many times when you are running you forget to look around, and often there’s not much to see, anyway. That is the most beautiful part of trail running. Yes, it’s slower (for everyone other than Brian). Yes, it’s technical and there is more falling. But you don’t get views like this when you are running on the road. You don’t get to see sunrises and sunsets over beautiful scenery without city lights and buildings. Trail running, you smell the flowers. You see the deer. You feel the chilliness of the stream as it seeps in to your running shoes. That’s what trail running about.