When I woke up that Monday morning, it felt as if I had been hit by a bus! My shoulders ached, my toes were sore and my ankles were stiff. All the signs were there. I had finally run my first proper trail run at the Spur Gauteng Winter Trail Series event at Segwati Game Ranch.
Trail running is definitely different to road running. My fellow running junkie (and comedian) Shaun captured it quite well when he posted this to his Facebook wall:
“I need to work on my beard, grow a man bun and eat more organic granola bars to be taken seriously as a trail runner.” ~ You had to be there but trust me, I LOLZ’ed for days at this!
But seriously, here’s my list of some of the more positive (& negative) aspects about the trail runs:
- You get to lie in! Trail runs begin later in the day. My race only shot off after 9:30. BONUS!
- But then is was hot. VERY hot and I struggled. There are no water points and I had left my camel pack in the car.
- It’s dusty. And dry.
- You do a lot of looking down to prevent yourself from falling (which explains the sore shoulders!) I was determined not to fall so I made a conscious effort of watching where I was going the entire time.
- You need the right shoes! I was happy to have an old pair of casual Salomon’s to run in. They kept my feet super protected from all the stones and sand, but they were not the right size for racing. At the 3km mark, my toes were taking strain already. I don’t even want to explain how sore those downhills felt.
- The hills take forever to climb! And I’m not talking an extra 30 seconds to your time, I mean minutes!
- The views are spectacular! The air is fresh and crisp. And at Segwati, I dodged some “bok drolls” along the path which meant the animals were close by.
- I made it to the finish before prize giving! This is a first. Usually I’m still out there on the road when this happens.
- You had to run 3 out of 4 races to qualify for a medal. I know, right!
But it’s loads of stress-free fun and in fact a lot more casual than the road runs. I do wish I had more time to enjoy them but with limited time in the week and weekends, I have decided to stick to my road running programme and focus on my 10kms and 21kms. Expect a blog post soon on my goals leading up to the end of the year.
Photo credit: http://www.trailseries.co.za/gallery/gwts-race-3-segwati-1