Written By: Amanda Kremer
It’s week 7 of my 17-week training program to Boston Marathon 2013. Normally, I don’t incorporate any trail races in my marathon training programs for fear of getting injured, but I made an exception for the Mad Ass2013 in Madras.
The race started and finished at the Madras Aquatic Center. If you haven’t been to the Aquatic Center, it is definitely worth checking out.
It was well organized for such a low key race. Strollers and dogs welcome! There was no pre-registration; just show up, write down your name and distance you will be running, and when you get back, jot down the time you ran it in. Route options were 25k, 29k, and 50k, or run whatever mileage you felt like doing. I chose the 29k out and back for no other reason than my friend was doing that distance. There was no fuel or water provided for us along the route (just at the start/finish), so you were on your own for that. All 76 or so racers congregated in the Aquatic Center before heading out for an informational talk. I loved the fact that I could keep warm right up until the race start! No waiting outside in the cold, shivering, wasting precious energy.
The first 2 miles were downhill until we went through downtown Madras and reached the trail head. This is where the chit-chat with my friends started to fade. It was time to focus on the trail adventure ahead with patches of ice and ankle-wrenching rocks. The sun was shining and the canyon views were breath-taking. This is why I run, and this is why I love living in Central Oregon. My neck is still sore from admiring the scenery and scoping the area for cougars (yeah, yeah, I know I won’t see them). The turn-around point was at the base of a huge hill going down. This is where my iPod came to the rescue with Limp Bizkit pushing me up the grueling hill. On the way back, the sun was starting to melt the ice, so I was literally running through mud. I quickly had to come to terms with the fact that my bright yellow Brooks Connects, would soon be brown. It’s OK, just another excuse to buy another pair, right? At about mile 10, my ankles and calves were getting fatigued from all the varied terrain. I was wishing I had supported my ankles with athletic tape at this point. Since the first 2 miles were downhill, of course, the last 2 miles were uphill. I needed Nine Inch Nails for this hill. It felt like it would never end, but the pavement was a nice break for my ankles so I pushed through and finished at 2:34, injury free. Hard cider never tasted so good!
Post-race festivities included admission into the pool area, a potluck and live music. I had a blast going down the cork-screw slide while screaming like a 10-year-old girl, followed by relaxing in the hot tub overlooking the mountains. I highly recommend this race for anyone who loves trail running and wants to get stronger on hills, all in a low-key setting. I had a great time and would definitely do this race again.
I wanted to give a special shout-out to Duke the dog (he was actually registered on the list) who successfully completed the 52k!!! Amazing! After all that, I bet Duke could use a chiropractor. Hey! I can recommend a GREAT Animal Chiropractor in Bend :).