On November 22, 2015, I ran in the Holiday Hustle Trail Marathon hosted in West Coast Trail Runs (WCTR). It was an awesome course, awesome venue. It was a two loop course on some pretty rolling hills. It felt like there was a lot more uphill than downhill, but hey, it was still fun.
I ended up winning the trail marathon with a time of 3:33:45. Not bad for a pretty hilly course and only having about 1.5 months of solid, consistent training in the books. It had lots of rolling hills. It was a two loop course and I loved it! Very scenic. Had to run through cow pastures, open and close the gates. It was neat and I would recommend their events for sure! I’d definitely consider doing the Holiday Hustle Trail Marathon again in the future. Also, I think WCTR does a spring and fall event, so that’s cool!
One of the most interesting parts of the Holiday Hustle Trail Marathon was the loop set up. At the beginning of the race, we had to run from the parking lot to the loop split and they said to follow the blue flags. Well, both sides (right and left) had blue flags. So, the runners sort of split off in two directions. I chose to go left with the lead group. At the top of the hill, the lead group that I was with stopped and looked back at the split. People were going left and right. It was kind of intense. Which way was correct?!
Regardless, I stuck with my decision and kept proceeding. After loop one, I thought I was in 5th or 6th place, but the guys ahead of me turned out to be in the half-marathon race. Cool! I was leading the marathon but had no clue where anyone else was in the marathon since it was a split loop race. I stuck with it and kept doing my best. At the end of the second loop, I still had about 1.5 to 2 miles. The folks at the last aid station said I was the first marathon person they saw, so that felt great! Legs hurt so bad but I was so close! I had to walk a few times during the last mile, I know, I know… but I ended up pulling myself across the line, running strong… and found out I won and was ecstatic!
I ran in my New Balance Minimus MT00 and they were like a dream! Most of the terrain was pretty smooth, so I didn’t have to worry about a bunch of jagged rocks poking the bottom of my feet. One of the best shoes I have ever run in.
Photo Credit: WestCoastTrailRuns