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Monday, August 4, 2014

Eagle Creek Trail Quarter Marathon 2014

Finish Line Face, photo by Planet Adventure Races

This race was so much fun!

I am definitely hooked on trail running now.  I didn't have a particular goal for this race since I'd never done one before.  I knew I could run 6.5 miles on flat pavement in about 1:18-1:20, and I expected this would take me longer but I didn't know how much.  So I just set out to run at a comfortable pace and finish strong, which I did.  My official time was 1:37:57:1, and while I was tired afterwards I was by no means wiped out.  My splits also show that my last mile was my 2nd fastest, after my first mile, which makes sense given that the most challenging trails were in the middle.


Race Details

Photo by Planet Adventure Races
The race was on the trails around Eagle Creek Reservoir.  It started out on a gravel road, then went through a grassy meadow, and into the woods where the trails really narrowed down.  Most of the trails were dirt trails, although there were a couple of places that opened out onto paved park service roads.  I was familiar with the trails from hiking in the park, although I'd never run there before.  We ran from Eagle's Crest to the Galyan's Bear, where we turned around and went back along the same route.

Half marathoners continued on from the Bear across the causeway to the other side of the lake, and full marathoners ran the half loop twice.  So that meant there were always faster runners coming & going in both directions, and I had to move off the trail a lot to let people pass.  I was expecting that, though, and the other runners were always so polite & offering encouragement to us slow pokes.  I tried to do that as well to the few that I passed.

The hills, tree roots, & logs meant I never really ran at a steady pace, but that's part of what made it so much fun.  I didn't even bring my headphones, since I didn't really want any distractions.  I wanted to concentrate on the course, and also to be able to hear runners coming up behind me so I could move over when I needed to.  I also enjoyed hearing the rain hitting the trees, and the woodpeckers & other wildlife in the woods (probably squirrels, but could've been alligators, sharks, or zombies).


One Small Complaint, and Lots of Compliments

Awesome shirt & medal!
The race was advertised as having wave start times spaced out by 10 minutes, but they were starting each wave just 3 minutes or so after the last one.  Some people were still resting in their cars and missed their official starts, although with the chip timing it didn't affect their results.  I didn't miss my start, but I didn't have time to do my lunge matrix (Sorry Lindsey & Jeanette).  Next time I will do my lunges while in line for the Port-o-let.

Otherwise, the race was perfect!  The course was very well marked and I never had trouble knowing which way to go.  The staff & volunteers were all very nice & encouraging.  It was fun to see my friend Kim & have her cheer me on while I was running.  There was a good assortment of post-race refreshments.  And I love the t-shirt & medal!  



I was wearing my old-old shoes, and I think it may be time to retire them for good.  They were really rubbing my feet the last two miles or so.  These are the very first running shoes I got back in 2012 when I started running.  They've been relegated to mud & dirt for a while now, but they may no longer even be suitable for that.  What's the proper send-off protocol?  Wrapped in an old race shirt & buried next to the sidewalk?

old-old shoes, new-old shoes, new-new shoes
And then what do I do with my other shoes?  My new-old shoes (the 2013 model) are the ones I use for boot camp, and I still run in them if I am doing a Tuesday run before boot camp.  And my new-new shoes that I got this spring are still good for running.  So do I make my new-old shoes my mud/dirt shoes, and get some cross-trainers for boot camp?  Or do I keep the new-old shoes in their current spot and get some trail running shoes for dirt?  Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page, or Tweet us @UglyPaxtonSis if you have some shoe advice for me.  See you on the trails!


  1. Trail running shoes for trails; due to the textures on the bottom it'll help a lot.
    Cross training shoes for boot camp because running sideways, walking, etc ruins the running integrity of said shoe &&
    Running shoes for running boring flat or hilly pavement.
    My old Mizunos were given to my niece for her exploration days in the woods, I knew they were danger waiting to happen on any given race.

    Send the shoes off to a non profit who will use them as trainers for those learning to run or those who do not have shoes at all.

    1. Great advice Jen - thanks! Expensive advice, too. I think I'll get the cross-training shoes first. I do notice my feet hurt at boot camp when doing the sideways stuff & even jumping jacks.