The race takes place on the Naylor Mill Forest Trail in Salisbury, Maryland. The trail is very technical and not at all what you would expect, especially if your normal running is here on the flat Eastern Shore! This year the course was slightly different- as it started in a nice shaded location and gave the runners a long, straight sprint into the trail and then the same straight distance back to the finish line. As usual each runner had a slightly different distance on their GPS watch, so the real distance of the course was of course what the race dictator said it was- a 7k, which should be around 4.3ish miles. My watched ended with 3.8 but I heard many others say they had over 4.
As the I entered the trail I was in a pack of runners keeping a steady pace. I decided not to expend any extra energy and try to pass them, but instead just waited for them to move to the side for a break or to walk. After hitting almost mile one I ran by the aid station which of course was stocked with BACON and cold, wet rags which the volunteers were cooling the runners down with. This was awesome and very much needed. The way the course ran we actually got to hit a second aid station before exiting the trail.
After the first aid station the pack I was in was much smaller and at times I was by myself and could see other runners on the rail but did not know if they were behind or ahead of me. The trail is very windy and rooty and had plenty of uphills with some downhills. It was a pleasant sight to see the volunteer photographer and our exit out of the trail! This year the time spent in the trail seemed to go by MUCH faster but I was more prepared for what was ahead of me, unlike last year.
As I exited the trail I was ready for the sprint to the finish! After crossing the finish line the runners were greeted with popsicles and of course the smell of breakfast meats still being cooked! The top finishers were later presented with mini cast iron skillets and Team Bacon was again announced the winner of the race due to the top ten finishing time of each team.
Thanks Trent + crew for another year of running hard trail miles and enjoying plenty of bacon!