On a cold and windy day a few weeks back I did my first in person race in a little over 3 years. Prior to COVID I had planned on running my 5th full marathon in 2020. The world had other ideas and that race was moved virtually with the option to postpone it for the next few years. I had initially planned on running CIM 2022 but missed the deadline to use my voucher. Instead I thought I’d tackle a new race distance and challenge. Previously I had looked into the Clarksburg Country Run back when they had a 20 mile option. I looked and saw this year they had a 30K which is 18.6 miles. I figured this would still be a good distance to challenge myself (after having done tons of half marathons and knowing that distance).

Much of this year’s running has been done on the treadmill, a combination of not wanting to run in the heat but also just me not wanting to get outside like I used to. Nevertheless I created my own training guide and tried to follow it as closely as possible.

Packet pickup at the Fleet Feet Store was no frills and I picked up my bib and shirt the day before (no swag bag or other goodies and I didn’t feel like browsing the store). I was in and out in under a minute.

Race morning turned out to be quite cold but super windy. Temperature when I arrived was around 42F. I don’t particularly mind the cold but the wind is what turned out to be something to reckon with. Parking was about half a mile away at The Old Sugar Mill – which houses multiple wineries in one area. I had actually visited this many years back with my MIL and did wine tastings.

After the chilly walk to the start/finish area (a local high school), I visited the portapotties and then dropped off my sweatshirt/pants at the sweat check and waited for the start. I feel like at most races I’ve run, people start getting into the start area well before the start. This one seemed a little less urgent. The 30K was the first to kick off at 8 am and people were just milling about until about 5 minutes before race start. Finally we all gathered behind the timing mats but again people didn’t seem all that keen to be up near the front. There were only 148 of us doing the longest distance (other race distances were half marathon, 10K, and 5K) so I ended up pretty close to the start line (even though I knew I would probably be one of the slower participants).

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