The Febapple Frozen Fifty Lives Up To Its Name!
The Febapple offered choices of a 50 mile, 50 K, 20 and 10 mile races. The course is a 10 mile loop, pinched in the middle, forming two smaller loops of 4 and 6 miles. The start/finish, with aid station, was located in the middle. Race directors Rick and Jennifer McNulty do a great job of organizing these trail races, providing separate start times for each distance and constant logging of every runner's loop times. Their aid stations are always bountifully stocked with all kinds of goodies. All their trail events/races are well organized, with the emphasis on the fun, the trails and the running community.
|RDs Jennifer and Rick|
|50Kers on their way|
My pace was still casual, when I came upon a stopped 50K runner, who seemed quite confused. "I think I'm going in circles. How do I get out of here?" I told him to just follow the ribbon markers. A few minutes after that encounter, I started realizing things looks familiar. When my watched beeped showing 4 miles I knew something was wrong. Sure enough I too had gone in a circle, missing a well marked turn off the access path. (Guess I was enjoying the hill to much.) A bit of panic immediately jolted my pace to a fast push, scrambling to make up time. In my hast, I tripped on a very technical single track section and took my first of two falls. Things were not going as planned. By the time I got back to the start, I was at 6 miles and 15 minutes late for the start of my race. Headed back out on the 4 mile loop to officially start my race. I didn't catch up with too many 20 milers on the trails the rest of the day.
I kept a steady pace and tried to focus on relaxing, suppressing that racing mentality. 'Its all about time on my feet today', I kept telling myself. The second time through the 4 mile loop went better, though the uphills on ice were tricky trying to find footing.
|Slow go! Crunchy snow better than ice.|
|Forgot my ice skates|
The 6 mile loop held a hidden jewel tucked away near the end. The best site of the course, a semi frozen wonder. I had to stop and admire.
I finished the day with 25 well fought miles and a total running time of 4:42, with an elevation gain/loss of 2800 ft (gotta love the GPS watch). Right on target for my last long training run before a 50K in 2 weeks.
The Febapple certainly lived up to the 'Frozen' part of its name sake. As with all the NJ Trail Series races, it was a great mix of challenging hills, technical single track, varying terrain conditions and beautiful displays of nature. Quite an enjoyable run! In addition to the swag, top 3 winners of each race were awarded apple-istic keepsakes. Thanks to all the great volunteers, and to Jennifer and Rick for an outstanding job putting on another successful Febapple Frozen Fifty.
|Smiling volunteers dished out the goodies|
|Rick's got you covered.|