Hot Hot Hundred Trail Relay: Was it fun or was it just, well, hot?
We were doing SO WELL on our blog posts, and then, along came this little race directing gig we do each year, and well, we got off track. but we are BACK! And as fall turns to winter in Kentucky, we want to look back, fondly (maybe?) to the heat of August.
Next Opportunity Events is a race company in Kentucky that puts on the most challenging crazy trail races around. Frank, my husband, is obsessed with doing every race they offer. Naturally he wanted my help in getting a team together for the Hot Hot Hundred.
Things Come Together
I told Frank I’d check with my people, while thinking: I’ve heard the Bluegrass Runners talking about this race, there is NO way I’m going to get my girls to be interested in this…. But I send out a group text to the Skortaholics, and not 30 minutes later, we have a complete team: Frank, me, MB, Annette, and Sandy’s husband Ernie.
Annette was the first to respond. I was shocked, didn’t she read the name of the race? Annette hates the heat! She will complain when it’s 60 degrees “I’m hot, are you hot? I’m burning up”. She wears a tank in the winter! I decide she better go first and I better bring lots of ice.
As usual, we get excited about a race and THEN get the details. This is a 100k Relay race for teams of 2 to 5 runners. “All teams will run 10 consecutive laps of our 6.2 mile course. One runner is allowed on the course at a time.” I immediately see lots of problems with this race.
- August in Kentucky
- Only one person on the team actually trains on trails (Frank)
- THIS is the elevation :
Things Fall Apart
Annette ends up in a boot! (I’ll let her tell that story.) Her husband, B kindly takes her place. He’s not a trail guy, but he’s wicked fast. Sad about losing our Annette, but ok with adding a bit of speed to the team.
Next one to drop was Ernie. He was having some back issues and really wasn’t having fun on the training runs. Les, one of the Bluegrass Runners and a fellow Bourbon Chase team member, agreed to take his place. Phew.
I ended up with a family thing and didn’t get to run for like 3 weeks. This race was not going to be pretty (but our Pro Compression socks would be!).
Things Are Weirdly Funny
Each leg is “just” a 10K, how hard can it be? (refer to elevation map) Frank was runner #1. He ended up with a great first leg, 10 minutes faster than expected. I was runner #2 and wasn’t ready for the hand off. Frank said something about having a really big hill. He was not kidding! Was I really supposed to be running? How are these people running? (again- elevation map) HOW AM I GOING TO MAKE MY BODY DO THIS AGAIN!? (2 laps per person) My leg was a little slower than I wanted. I FELL, I got lost, but I laughed, it was somehow weirdly fun.
B made up for my slow time, but he felt like this:
MB didn’t fall or get lost. She ended up with a much speedier time than she expected. Trail running is her new talent. [ED Note: MB thought this was HILARIOUS! I mean, the hills were not “hills”, they were “verticals”. Even the antelope children than won the race had to walk/hike them. I saw the first “hill” and just giggled. Giggled.)
Les was runner #5, he kicked ass. Then ate a lot of food. Trail runs apparently involve a lot of food.
Things Don’t Get Worse
Next up, round two. We know what we are in for — sort of. You have to run the loop the opposite direction this time. Yikes. Frank still kicks butt with the fastest splits on the team.
I’m not sure what I’m doing in this picture [ED’s Note: But this is MB’s fave photo], but I take the handoff and have a much better loop this time. No getting lost. (FYI, MB and I both wore Skirt Sports, they worked great! MB in the hover, me in my trusty peek a boo.) B heads out again, and is still not happy, but not miserable.
MB heads back out, and comes back with more giggles, but also selfie evidence of the “HOT” part.
And Les gets back just as dusk is falling!!!
Things End Up Pretty Terrific
Amazingly, Skortaholics took 4th place over all, AND (very importantly) we didn’t have to do any running in the dark. (I was really wondering how that was going to work), and (even more very importantly) there was BEER!
I’m not sure if I’d actually do this race again. It was really difficult! But the decision is out of our hands for 2018, MB and I are headed to USAT Nationals. So, if anyone wants to join Frank . . .
Are you willing to try a hot, humid, hilly run in KY?