Fall is my favorite season! The leaves are changing! The weather is great for running! It is cross country season which means trail running. I haven't done much trail running since college so when I heard about the Autumn Trail Series, I knew I had to run it. It is a series of 4 races that are held at Hyland Park in Bloomington, MN. Every other Wednesday night we race a 5.7k loop on trails through the park.
The first race was held on August 31st and it was hot. I got there about 30 min before the start, picked up my race number and headed out for a 1.5 mile warm up. About a mile into the race, I realized that I had passed all the women. Scary...I was leading the women's race. With less than half mile to go a women passed me. I wanted to stay with her but my mind said oh well, 2nd place is still good. I finished 7 seconds behind her and scored 80 point in the series standing.
The second race was held on September 14th. The weather was perfect. Cool but not too cold. I did my warm up. The race started and I fell in behind a woman. I stayed just behind her the entire race. If she picked it up or slowed down, I followed. We had about a half mile to go so I was thinking I should try to pass her. She picked up the pace and I couldn't go with her. I told myself okay just hold on to 2nd. Then a minute later the women that beat me the week before cruises past me and the leader. I am in 3rd now...and that is were I finished. Three seconds out of 2nd and 7 seconds out of 1st. I scored 60 points for the series. After the 2 races, I was currently in 2nd place in the series with 140 points.
The third race was held on September 28th. The weather was okay. It was a little warmer than I was hoping for at the end of September but not too bad. I did my usual warm up and notice the women that had won the last 2 weeks wasn't there. The race started and I again took the lead about 1 mile into the race. I knew there was a women that was sticking pretty close to me. With about half mile to go a couple guys pass me running the other way and say "10 meters" so I know she is close. Just before the final hill she makes her move and takes the lead. I am bummed but think that 2nd place again is pretty good. We start the climb and I think 2nd isn't good enough, I want to win so I start kicking it in as hard as I can. I pass her with about 1/4 of the hill left. I crest the hill and just keep running as hard as I can around the final couple of curves to the finish line. I am running scared that she is going to coming flying past me. I cross the line in 1st place! Yeah! I have never won a race before so I am excited! I scored 100 point. I end the day with 240 points and the lead in the series.