Monday, June 04, 2018

Chester Woods 50K



On Friday Steve and I drove down to Eyota MN to camp and run the Chester Woods 50K. I've never run Chester Woods. I was always a FANS 24 Hour Run girl. Rain was forecast the whole weekend so I was kind of dreading the wet soggy tent!  Fortunately the forecasters were incorrect and the weekend was dry!  We had a fabulous time.

We arrived to Eyota, just out of Rochester before dark so were able to set up camp in the daylight. The campground was very nice, very modern. Usually we camp in more rustic environments, this was a treat. Clean showers and restrooms, electricity, firewood for sale..all the modern conveniences!

I woke at 4AM on Saturday and couldn't believe that it wasn't raining. After grinding my beans and creating my morning french press (yay for electricity) I walked to the start area to get my bib, tank and to visit. The website was kind of difficult to read..I wasn't sure of aid stations, entrants or course information. I didn't know if I'd know anyone at the race. I bumped into Greg, Rick, John, Kevin, Travis and Stephanie at the start. Yay for friends at the race!  

After learning that the course was a loop and that aid stations were plentiful, I walked back to camp and exchanged my pack for a single bottle. I wouldn't need more than a bottle and a few gels. I didn't carry any music or extras.

We started on pavement for half a mile or so before we turned onto grass trail. Most of the race was nice soft surface-grass, wood chips, soft dirt...it was really great. Mostly woods, some open prairie, real cool bridges over water filled with people kayaking and fishing. 

As I ran back into the lot after the first 12.5 miles I caught a glimpse of Steve wandering through. What great timing!  He was looking for a place to fish from. I filled up my bottle with water from Greg's aid station at his car and ran on to loop 2. Greg and I ran 90% of the race together and picked up Travis for the third loop. We had  a blast. It was so great to run with them, laugh, catch up on what's going on the last year that in which I only ran 7 miles. It felt really great to be better conditioned and stronger than during Chippewa 50 only 6 weeks ago. I am certainly feeling more like myself. 

Travis, Greg and I ran into the finish at 640 or so...I nabbed a 2nd place in my age group. We were given cute mason jars, a jar/ornament ? for the age group placing. I drank a COKE, had a banana, passed on the hotdogs, chips and cheese and walked back to camp.  My body held together-no aches or pains. It was a fun day!

After showering in the hot clean modern shower, Steve and I hiked some trails out of the campground and then sat down to a nice fire with potatoes, carrots and onions on the grill. Yum!

I'm thinking of Black Hills 50K next. I'm liking the 50K distance-it doesn't grind me down. I am thinking about Voyageur 50 M but not certain...that's probably reason enough to let it pass me by this year. I did enter Afton 50K, looking forward to it!

Chippewa 50K was an 809, Chester Woods a 640. I'm getting more fit. Different courses but not all that different in topography.

Man it feels good to feel good!

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