Saturday, March 23, 2013

Getting in touch with my inner badger

A few days before Way Too Cool, I managed to stub the middle toe on my right foot. It hurt a bit during the WTC race - especially when going downhill. (Cleverly, WTC put most of the downhill in the first part of the race, which meant it was all riled up early on.)

So when it came time for Brazen's Badger Cove a week later, I chose to reduce the amount of downhill and signed up for the 10K distance. Mrs Notthat rolled her eyes, made a slightly off-color toe joke, and signed up for the Half Marathon.

The weather was glorious as the Half runners headed out.

This was the official Finisher Medal Prep Crew. Apparently, handling so many medals can make you a bit giddy.

There were a number of volunteers along the course taking pictures, including Weird Haired Mom and Dove the Wonder Dog.

About a mile into the race we hit our first aid station, complete with its own outhouse.

In another half mile we hit the 5K turnaround (the 5K course was an out-and-back).

Shortly after the 5K turnaround, we started doing some climbing. Which led to some nice views.

Speaking of views, there were two branches that you had to be sure to have your eyes on or else you would end up with a view involving a lot of stars and tweeting birds. (I know from previous personal experience.)

I got a huge kick out of this dog with a log in his mouth that hung with me while going up that first hill.

Still climbing and still getting great views.

Eventually I made it to the second aid station, where Drannyl (not his real name) was guarding the water jug.

Undoubtedly, this was the easiest volunteer job out there; convincing runners to take the downhill trail instead of the uphill one.

Last year, this was a very different race. There had been a lot of rain leading up to race day, so the course was a bit muddy in places.

This is that same hill this year; still steep but dry.

A filtered view of the lake.

At the end of the hill-infested loop, we are back at that first aid station again. 10K runners get to turn left and head to the finish line. Half runners get to turn right the first time they get here and go do that loop again. I was quite happy to turn left here (the toe was throbbing a fair amount by now and a second lap would have been challenging).

Photo of me stumbling to the finish by WHM.

Volunteer FourWheelBob was there to protect us, but I wasn't sure from what.

Ah. This bunch of scouts thugging it up with life vests and canoes. Thanks FWB!

So here I am, shuffling along and anxious to cross the finish line that's about 100 feet away, and see these guys impressively doing post-race planks. The chance of me doing a post-race plank is almost as high as me winning one of these races.

With about 25 feet to go, I see Mr and Mrs O'Brazen hanging in the timing tent.

Photo of nearly done airborne Mrs Notthat by WHM.

A nice thing about doing a shorter race than Mrs Notthat is that I get to finish (probably) before her.

So I went out a tiny bit and tried to pace her in.

But she wasn't having any of it, so I took a shortcut and caught her heading down the finish chute.

The race was a blast.

Try telling these two that it's not fun challenging yourself with a tough Half Marathon.

Picture by WHM.
Try telling Ettedanreb (not her real name) that storming a finish line can't be done with style. (If I tried this, especially this late in the race, I would need a medic in short order.)

It was a great race with beautiful trails that had just enough challenge in them to keep it interesting. A huge thanks to everyone that made this day possible, including all the volunteers and perky runners and log-carrying dogs.

An actual badger or two would have been nice though.

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.

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