Skip to main content

Bernheim Trail Marathon Recap

Wait, what?! Trail? Marathon?! Another year, another Bernheim Trail Marathon and this time I wasn't going to miss it! So, those who can't do, volunteer! I've done some informal trail running and have always really liked it but have never done a trail race. In my world, the easiest way to check something out is to do it or in race terms volunteer at it. The threat of severe storms made me reconsider heading out at 6 am but I knew rain is no bother to the true trail runners so if they were going to be there, so was I. Autumn went with me even though she doesn't like trail running or nature but she was a good sport and came along so I could check things out.

We got there late for various reasons but luckily the storms delayed things just a bit and we ended up not missing anything. We were assigned to aid station 5 with another woman at what we were told was mile 16 of the full marathon.

Trail marathons are the real deal. During road races I think it's safe to say the stations have water and some kind of electrolyte replacement drink, maybe some oranges and/or bananas and probably some form of goo (Gu). At this race, our setup was legit. Gallons upon gallons of water and Heed, flat Coke and Sprite, peanut butter filled pretzels, Chips Ahoy mini chocolate chip cookies, oranges, bananas, peanut butter and jelly on the good whole grain bread, Hammer Nutrition goos, and salt tablets.

We set everything up including our fold out chairs and waited patiently for the first runner. We also had a sheet with the bib numbers of the runners and we were to mark down what time they came through as a way to keep track of everyone.

With my Deep Woods Off applied I was doing alright in the forest. It was gorgeous and stopped raining so sitting outside wasn't an issue...although I did have a poncho just in case. Finally we got our first runner. First impression was that he was more badass than any character Jason Statham has ever played (and I love Jason Statham). He was also surprisingly nice and looked completely chill. He chatted with us a bit while he refilled his bottles and had a few bites and then he was gone. Second place was over 3 minutes behind him but pretty much the same impression. They kept rolling in, one at a time, every few minutes until I saw an old friend I met in college about a hundred years ago. "Oh. Hey Evan!" He had that determination/misery/badassery/I'd kind of like to stop running and be finished now look that we found quite common in trail marathoners as the day wore on but was also perfectly nice, refilled his pack and off he went. I was surprised to only see 3 women out of the 36 total marathoners but they were hanging tough just like the men. Trail aid stations are so different because the runners really do stop to take a breather, consume some calories, stretch and throw away articles of clothing and ring out socks decimated by the multiple creek crossings and obstacles they'd already passed. The worst part of the whole day was having to tell people they were at Mile 16. About half of the runners had GPS watches which all said they were at Mile 18-19 and we had to be the messengers that in fact, they had 10 miles to go instead of the 8 they had convinced themselves they could do on the way to our station. *Did I mention we were located at the top of a particularly grueling hill? We of course didn't know this until people told us...which every one of them did. But that did make everyone really excited to see us! I also happened to see another guy I knew who is a board member for the organization I used to work for. I'd only ever seen him in a suit and tie so the wet and muddy shorts and tee, trail shoes and a backwards baseball cap was a little bizarre, but cool all at the same time. Even cooler when I informed him that I wasn't working and that this was just something I do because I got a new level of respect I think. Like maybe the real trail runners might consider opening the door to let me into the trail running club. Anyway, we only had one scary moment and that was the guy who looked us in the face and said, "I'm done." We asked the standard "How are you feeling?" and everyone was ok despite the occasional "I feel like shit." said with a laugh but when he said he was done we pulled up a chair for him. He was in his 50s and obviously in great shape but he told us he just knew when to call it, especially since we were Mile 16 and not 20. It was obvious how seasoned he was because he knew exactly why he was feeling that way and what could have been done differently and that he physically could not finish the race and was ok with it. We called a medic and Nurse Autumn sprung into action taking his pulse and such. Once he was sitting down with some water he just chatted with us and that was pretty cool. He also talked to lots of the runners who came through while we were waiting for his ride. The camaraderie made me jealous and that was when I decided for sure to join the trail running club.

All in all it was a blast and I can't wait to do my first trail race! There's something about volunteering that gives you a weird insight into worlds you want to enter but don't know how. I'm excited to have been there to help them and am looking forward to racing myself and having others return the favor.


Popular posts from this blog

Year 30

Is this thing on? I've been struggling with a bit anxiety out of nowhere over the past year and a half so in an attempt to keep my head from spinning I'm going to try my return to writing.

I turned 30 in February and it's seriously been my best year. Suddenly I stopped caring so much about things, and more about *gasp* my family and friends. Weird right? But in caring more about people, I also started to care less about their opinions on my life choices. That said, I am going to provide you with a VERY brief rundown of the 3 major life events happening right now:

We are buying a house! Maybe... Yay right? Back in October I found this really great house under a lease option contract that we ended up snatching up. It's in a nice, established neighborhood where *most* people own and genuinely take care of their houses. Not at the Hank Hill lawn level but I'm talking seasonal outdoor decorations and it just happens to be the neighborhood other parents bring their kids t…

Burn the Past

One of my old pastors used to say "God gave you two ears and one mouth so you could listen twice as much". I've always been a pretty decent listener. I was always in the top 5 during games of Simon Says and with a mother like mine, you needed to do your best to prevent her repeating herself. But one area where I really struggle is listening to what God says to me and what direction to go in my life. I'm a control freak. There, I said it. There have been times in my life where I've had to schedule not only when I would have free time but what I would do during said free time. I've literally put "watch tv" on my calendar. So is it any surprise that when someone says to "let go and let God" I have trouble leaving my entire life and existence to someone other than myself? Not only that, but someone who isn't a someone at all? To someone I can't see, don't understand, don't know how to listen to and just have to have blind faith…

Guess Who's Back

Sometimes my thoughts get really overwhelming and when that happens I usually have to do something active and relatively creative. I've been using coloring books since before they were cool and strangely baking is still a big go-to for me but there's also writing. Today while lamenting to the husband he suggested I write a blog to try to just get shit out. So that's what I'm doing.

We are moving back to Louisville. Yay? I guess that's still TBD. I love Louisville, I really do and I have for years but like a weird, slightly dysfunctional, long term relationship, love just wasn't enough. I felt trapped and suffocated. I had created this identity box for myself and while it worked for a while it eventually turned into my coffin. It was tiny and I didn't feel like it could fit everything I wanted to be a part of my identity. 15 months ago I was exercise and non-profit worker Rennay. That's it. When we moved I realized it was a true clean slate. Absolutely n…