Race: The Northern Trails 10 miler on 3/13/2021. Instead of running, I chose the ruck option–and was excited to see there was a ruck option (defined as: carry 20 lbs if you are less than 150 lbs / carry 30 lbs if you weigh 150+). Since I am just a bit over 150, I needed to carry 30 lbs, but I planned to carry that anyway. Great to help with my mountain climbing training!
Goal: Get comfortable carrying a heavy load for multiple hours. I wanted to maintain around a 3 MPH pace (20 min/mile), and I hoped to win the women’s rucking division–figuring there wouldn’t be many who opted to carry a ruck.
Gear: My North Face pack held 3 gallon jugs of water (approx. 8 lbs each) plus a Camelbak bladder with 1.5 L, snacks, and my sleeping bag (to add padding for my lower back!)
I wore Smartwool shirt and socks, shorts with pockets, compression calf sleeves, and Altra Lone Peak shoes. I also brought my trekking poles, though I didn’t really need them–I wanted them for stability more than anything.
I also had my iPhone, plus ear buds, but didn’t end up using them.
Gut: I ate breakfast around 7, for a start time of 9:05. I’ve been eating oatmeal lately, so that’s what I had–plus coffee and electrolytes. I brought Honey Stinger waffles and a Clif bar with me.
Weather: 57° and cloudy–perfect for hiking/rucking.
Pre-Race: As I set out for Northern High School, in my husband’s nice car, Patty Smyth “The Warrior” came on, which felt very appropriate as I tried to psyche myself up to walk 10 miles with 30+ pounds on my back. I arrived before 8:30 to pick up my packet, and had time to kill in the car.
I got weighed in–bag was at 35 lbs with my full water bladder + snacks + phone.
I waited in a looong bathroom line and watched the other heats start running before me, about every 5 minutes. I was in Wave 6 of 6.
And when it was Wave 6’s turn, I placed myself at the very back, so I wouldn’t get in anyone’s way. I chatted with an aspiring ultra runner lady for a few minutes.
The gun went off… and I started my long walk.
Race: Surprisingly, I had 2 ladies behind me. They were wearing weighted vests, but they looked like they weren’t 30 lb vests, so I figured I was alone in the 30+ lb ruck option.
I quickly put distance between us, and ultrarunner lady was 100 yards or so ahead of me. I figured I’d be alone for a good portion of the race… and I was.
The route skirted Northern High School, went through the woods for a few minutes, then came out behind the Middle School before heading onto Bill Craft Trail.
I didn’t play music, as I wanted to listen to the birds and wind (and the silence!)
I noticed lots of little things, like daffodils randomly scattered through the forest, a beachball stuck in the creek behind a log…
And now it’s 5/20/2022, and I’m realizing I never finished this post!
I will say my memories of this event were good–it was a great day for training, and obviously it helped prepare me well for Mount Rainier (which was now a YEAR ago already!)
I remember fueling well, getting a lot of support from fellow runners and walkers, and feeling happy to be out in nature.
Results: 3rd overall of 5, and 1st in the ladies’ ruck division! (met my goal!)
Recommend: Yes… although trail racing isn’t part of my plan for this year, I would like to redeem myself on this race (after the horrible ten miler I had in 2019!)
Trivium Racing puts on great events, and this one was no different! I just became a lazy blogger over the past year, and finally getting around to finishing this one!