Yankee Springs Winter Trail Challenge, aka my suprising start to the 2013 racing season

Snow!

 

My age group prize light up snowflake, finisher snow globe, and overall women’s prize!!! (Montrail shoes!) This race wins for best swag

 

 

My carpool buddies, running friends from the Grand Rapids area. Thanks for the ride!

Last weekend I decided to try something new, shake up the winter running a bit by competing in a 25k in the snowy trails of Yankee Springs.  The race was put on by Switchback Endurance http://switchbackendurance.com/ and sponsored by Gazelle sports.  I was mainly looking for a fun way to get through my weekend long run, but ended up having a blast toughing it out with lots of runner friends.   I will be the first to admit that the racecourse was challenging for me and my less than trail ready legs, but it felt good to feel the burn in my lungs and the ache creep slowly into my legs as the miles ticked on.  More than once I had to remind myself to calm down and enjoy the beauty that is Michigan winter, and the pureness of testing one’s own abilities.  Before I knew it I was flying around the mountain bike trails with just enough power in my legs to stay upright and finished with the sun shining and a sense of accomplishment.  It wasn’t until later, while I was warming up with some hot chocolate and veggie chili waiting for results that I was told I had won the women’s division!  In all, a great start to the 2013 racing season.  Looking forward for what is in store for me and UR SPORTSWEAR this year J

 

I would encourage all of you out there to not let winter be your hibernation months, but a time to try something new that keeps you active and excited.  Maybe snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or entering a race even if you don’t think you are completely ready.  Winter running is all about the effort, not necessarily the clock which can make it a nice change from your normal training as well.  You just might surprise yourself, and at the very least you will break up the monotony that is winter running.