Makin' It Through the Muck II:
BY FREDDI CARLIP
BETHPAGE STATE PARK, NY--The day dawned clear and chilly, perfect for running--if the run was on roads, not on trails. The accumulated snow, ice, mud, and water, didn't have a chance to depart by race time, for the Greater Long Island Running Club's 3x2 Mile Trail Relay, held March 9.
The first sign of "trouble" was when the host club considered holding the relay on the roads due to the condition of the trails. But, cross-country means mud and mess, and a lot of it; a few spills, a few thrills, some ice-cold puddles, a lot of mud, slush, and ice--the essence of cross-country running.
The next sign of what was to come was when a runner who decided to traverse the trails and check things out, came to the finish area telling people to forget running any kind of time and expect to slip, slide, and fall. I've cleaned up the expletives the aforementioned runner included in his description of the course. I'll leave it to your imagination.
Runners used every tactic they could think of to psych themselves up. My mantra was, "It's an adventure; relax and enjoy it." I was running on the Quantum Feet Mixed Masters "A" team. Lucky for me the two guys who ran the first and last leg were fast; fast enough to turn my slog through the trails into a second place finish in the Mixed Masters category. Thanks, Ted and Matt!
Afterwards, we all shared war stories as we had hot chicken soup and tea. I felt like a warrior, having conquered the trail, and the trepidation I felt before the start.
It was a good day for the Quantum Feet RRC. We cleaned up, awards-wise, after our muddy run. It was a great feeling; we were muddied, but unbowed; exuberant and energized. I was proud to be part of a Quantum Feet team, even for one race. Let me paraphrase what QF's head honcho Dominic Ortiz said after the race: This is what running is all about. The mess and the fun is the best part. That's why cross country is the purest form of running.
Now that I've made it through the muck, I agree. You are right on, Dominic!
1. Titans 42:16
1. Terry-Hi-Dol 49:22
1. Running Late 52:23
1. Massapequa X 38:24
1. Runners Edge Masters 42:25
1. 50's 46:08
1. Commack Crushers 57:48
1. The Din Wits 1:03:06
1. These Old Broads 1:18:08