Date: Saturday, August 10, 2019
Location: LBA Park, Olympia, WA
Distance: 3.6 miles
Trails: The LBA loop
Miles from Home: 2,105
Weather: Cloudy, cool, moist
I signed up for this trail race on a whim, thinking “why not?” back in May. August came pretty quickly and I did not train enough for this race, but I still met my goal of hitting about a 15 minute mile - which is not a big deal for many, but is for me. As the temperatures wind down here in Texas, I’ll run more outdoors. For now, I’m still on a treadmill.
The LBA Park is operated by the City of Olympia, which is a wonderful town south of Seattle filled with amazing city parks, great food, and excellent beer. I arrived in the area on the Friday evening before the race and went to the the REI to meet the organizers and pick up my number. I was issued 101, for which I was pleased, and enjoyed meeting Mathias in person after interacting online for quite some time. If you ever get a chance to interact with the guys from The Outdoor Society, do it! They are both great and put on one hell of a trail race extravaganza.
After the REI visit and packet pickup, I went to the LBA park and walked some of the trails out there. I am not usually one to prepare too much for anything, but I wanted to get a walk in anyway and figured why not explore the trails I’d be running on tomorrow.
The trails are soft, with roots, and lined with plenty of lush foliage. The morning of the race was foggy, misty, and very moist. It had rained overnight but the trails weren’t muddy, but the whole place felt wet and very Pacific Northwest. It was perfect. The smells were fresh and everything just felt right.
I started the race strong, doing a quick (for me) first mile but I started to lose steam. I found a running buddy, who was running her first race, and we kind of stayed together for the second mile or so and it was great. We talked as we alternated between hiking fast and running. I soon felt that I was going too slow and wouldn’t hit my 15 minute mile goal, so I had to run more. I really surprised myself in how long I could run, and how much easier it was in a forest on a natural trail versus the treadmill I was using back home.
I made it up a big hill, interacted with some of the friendliest people, and finished the race well before some people in my group. I was pleased.
Trail runners are a good group of people, despite my preconceived notions of runners in general
Trail running is SO much easier than running on a treadmill - at least to me it was (maybe just more enjoyable?)
I can do it, I just need to stick to it
Running in trees
Camaraderie among runners
Doing something out of my comfort zone completely
Running as an enjoyable activity
Meeting new people and a person I’ve admired from afar
Visiting the PNW