2010 Forge Trail Series

2010 Forge Trail Series
Baton Rouge

This is a series of four races throughout the year: January, March, June, October. All held in Hooper Road Park, a couple miles east of the Baton Rouge Airport. Each race is about 4 miles. My Garmin showed 3.66 miles, but I think they based the pace-per-mile on a 4 mile distance. Also, runners compete in age groups based on their age as of December 31, 2010. 103 runners competed today.

Start time was the lowest temperature of the year in BR, 20. Fahrenheit. We started next to a softball field. Ran across the field and into the woods. The terrain in the woods was, at first, flat and curving. It was also narrow, so passing other runners was an ordeal. Ran across a couple of bridges over ice. Then the hills and valleys came up. No big hills, but steep ones. I had to grab at the ground and shrubs to help pull myself up. One low limb snatched my hat off, which I went back for. The trail was pretty well marked with bright orange flags, but I still ran off one curve in the dense woods and had to double back. Then came the sink holes. Deep, dark, ugly holes. Several of them. One to four feet in diameter. They were marked with florescent spray paint for visibility, so you could jump over them. Near the end, we emerged suddenly into the open, so I thought we near the finish and I put on a final burst of speed. Then I noticed that we had to run another ¼-mile “around” the softball field. My speed burst had flamed-out at the finish. Time: 31:55. 7:59 pace.

Post-race conversation was difficult, as we all had frozen faces, and I had snot-icicles in my ‘stach. But we warmed up with some great barbeque, beer, and music. And the temp had shot up to 24! Adam Hoogewind, 27, of Baton Rouge, was first overall finisher at 22:32. Abbey Terhaan, 17, of Baton rouge, first female, 29:10. I won a cool wood plaque and a 6-pack of Heinerbrau Beer for my first-in-age-group (OK, first of 4…..)

After the last race, the top 3 winners receive the “bad ass” trophy. I wonder what it looks like……

Eric Weill