A couple weeks ago I ventured over to the Berkshires to run the MDM 15K Trail Race. The race was part of a huge race weekend sponsored by Berkshire Bank, which also included a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, and a kid's race. The 15K Trail Race, which happened on Saturday, was the first race of the weekend.
Unfortunately it was raining the morning of the race, which made waking up at 4AM and the 2 hour drive slightly miserable, but I decked myself out in Red, White, and Blue (even put a bow in my hair!) to celebrate Memorial Day, slapped a smile on, and hit the road!
Since I live so far away, the early packet pickup wasn't an option for me, so I had to be at the race site at 7AM sharp to beat the lines and pick up my number and swag bag. The registration fee came with a super nice tech shirt, a "Boston Strong" wristband, and some other goodies from local running stores. Berkshire Bank also matched the amount of registration fees for the weekend and donated them all to One Fund Boston, which I thought was a fantastic part of this entire event!
The race began at 8:15. There was about a mile of road that we had to run before hitting the trail, but it was full of great views of the Berkshires. There were 3 different trails that we looped (slowly and carefully, as it was very slick from the rain) but the second one was by far the most difficult to conquer. The second trail was essentially straight up the side of a mountain. I tried so hard to keep running, but eventually I had to break down and walk, along with everyone else. I did, however, make sure I ran the flat parts, the uphills that were reasonably steep, and the downhills that weren't to slick.
I would have to say that this was the most difficult race that I have run so far. I figured that being used to trail running and being a half marathoner would make this 15K a piece of cake, but I was wrong. I'm more proud of myself for finishing this race than any other race I've run so far. I came in at 2:01:11, which gave me a pace of about 13:01. Far slower than my half marathon PR, so that should give you some idea of how hard it was!
If you're looking for a challenge and you're in the half marathon range in your training, I suggest trying a trail run for a change of pace. It will test your endurance, strength, and mental toughness, and will make you feel awesome once you finish!