Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jalapeno Del Sol 10K

First, an apology.

To the mighty MRE!

Home stretch!
 I did something highly unusual yesterday morning here in San Antonio.  I took first overall female in the Jalapeno Del Sol Trail Run 10K and I am just as surprised about it as you are! 

What am I doing with this winner's medal??
 The only difference in my training for this event and all others is that there was none.  Quite literally I've been living in a tent, not doing any running whatsoever, getting little to no sleep, and eating MREs.  I'm just gonna call this one an overwhelming victory in the MRE corner.  Maybe, just maybe, there is something to all the scientifically designed meals?  Sample size- me.

I am back from the field for good and Friday night I decided to look for a fun Saturday race to celebrate my return.  My googling showed the Jalapeno Del Sol Trail Run was close by, had race-day registration and a military discount.  There was also a 5K option if I decided not to do the full 10K.  Perfect!

McAllister Park, just north of the airport, is such a wonderful oasis within San Antonio.  I had been here once before, a few years ago, to take Nugget to the dog park.  The race began at the Classics Elite Soccer Fields within the park. 

Everyone was in such a great mood.  I showed up by myself but I met some new friends, Carrie and her boyfriend Allen from Austin.  They are veterans of the Prickly Pear 50K and Chupacabra 10K Night Run, raced in this same park and also organized by the same folks creating the Jalapeno Del Sol.

I wore the Pace Setter Skirt.  Love that thing.  I saw many other gals of all ages in running skirts so I guess they are more popular that I thought?

It pains me to be more than a few feet from a reflective belt at any moment
 The 10K and 5K courses are completely the bike and hiking trails of McAllister Park. The hilly and winding paths are entirely shaded, but replete with rocks and tree roots.  The Good Lord has seen fit to give me cankles and so I steadfastly sailed over the uneven ground.  Others took a few tumbles but despite a few scrapes and bruises no one was seriously injured.  I even saw a few deer as I ran.  The fellow trail users, cyclists, hikers, puppy dogs, were all very courteous.  Don't tell Nugget :)  The trail was well marked with arrow signs, orange flashes on trees at eye-level, and flour "x" marks at intersections to indicate where not to run.  The organizers had run the course the night previous and morning of the event just to ensure it was easy to follow.  Of course, I did get turned around in a few places but that's the fun of a trail run!  There was a little confusion at the 5K/10K turnoff point but a race volunteer stood at the junction and told us which path to follow.

The finish for all three races is along the soccer fields.  Nice for picture-taking and for meeting up with the 5K and kiddos.

Post race cerveza provided by the New Braunfels Brewing Company.  Treats included tacos, water, bananas, HEB's Quench sports drink.  Medical tent on hand, too.  Great technical t-shirt.  Cute medals.  Water/sports drink stations every 2 miles.

D says he will never run this race due to the shirt's overwhelming cuteness
I was worried about the heat at 0800 since all the outdoor PT I've been doing lately has been at 0530 or so, but it was still cool while light enough to safely wind through the woods without headlamp.  

The kid's mile begins 15 minutes later at a different place, a few hundred meters away.  I don't think it travels quite so deeply into the woods but I saw quite a few kids and I was very impressed that some of these kiddos were independent enough that they accompanied their parents to the 5K/10K start and then walked back to the Kid's Mile start on their own.  Not sure I would've been that brave as a kid.  And I definitely wasn't out running either!  I only mention that to show what a safe and fun environment it was.  Extremely well organized. So cool, too, that a small-scale race was chip-timed!

The price was a little steeper than I liked, but I did get a $5 discount and I could've saved even more by registering a month ago...I will just silently laugh at that prospect right now :)

This is my first trail run, and my first big win...if you can call it that.  I am never going to be an elite athlete, and I will never win a big race, but if you are like me, why not try a small-size race and see what you can do?  I have a feeling that this race will not be small forever.

This machine fueled by MREs and tacos
 Other upcoming related Run In Texas events:

Galveston Sand Crab 5K/10K Nighttime Beach Run (Sep 7, 2013)
Johnson City Lighthouse Hill Ranch 10 Mile, 20 Mile, 50K Trail Runs (Sep 21, 2013)