Adventures of a Trail Runner: Shiller Chiller

Once upon a time (aka back in December) I ran my very first trail race with Muddy Monk – the Schiller Chiller. Since my first 2013 race is quickly approaching, I figured it was time to get off my ass and write a recap. (I should probably get off my ass and start running again too, but that’s a whole other post.)

Muddy Monk Logo

The Schiller Chiller was more or less my first trail race. I’d done one 5K trail race previously, but it was a zombie run where I was mostly focused on not being eaten by zombies. A bit of sweet talking (or just plain asking, but c’mon now, I need to sound clever here) combined with being the first person to buy a 2013 season pass, actually got me a free entry to this race, but I digress…

This was a rookie trail race for me, and rookie races are bound to come with rookie mistakes right? Right. Biggest rookie mistake of the all, racing in brand spankin new shoes. Ouch. I ended up with a pretty massive blister on the arch of my foot and ended up walking most of the last mile. Whomp, whomp.

Beyond my little shoe snafu, the race was awesome. The course was a blast, and I loved jumping over logs and dodging natural obstacles. It was way more interesting than your average road race. Trail racing is definitely a bit more physically taxing as well. This was mistake #2. I underestimated the difficulty level and overestimated my fitness level. That’s not to day the race was hard I just didn’t pace myself well. I think this will be easily remedied just by running trails more frequently.

Sadly, my sweet leap over that log was not captured...
Sadly, my sweet leap over that log was not captured…

I managed to finish the race and gather up my 5K finishers mug before heading home. I had other obligations that afternoon so I didn’t have time to hang out and party. Back to that finishers mug. I think the finisher swag might be my favorite part of these races. Race medals are cool and all, but they’re not really useful (except maybe as Christmas ornaments.) But a mug, I can totally use a mug, and I have! The Schiller Chiller mug is my favorite mug now. I might’ve considered putting a post it note on the mug forbidding its use by other members of the house….but that seemed kinda crazy.

Being that Muddy Monk is a new organization, they had a couple rookie mistakes too. There was a shortage of port-a-potties and apparently a shortage of miles on the 10k course. Neither of these issues impacted me, but they addressed these deficiencies via email immediately following the race. They definitely recognized their mistakes and worked to rectify them unlike some other races (*coughcough* hotchocolate5k *coughcough*).

I’m definitely looking forward to the 2013 running season with Muddy Monk, and despite some first race hiccups (on both sides) I have a great feeling about the season pass I purchased.

Oh and my official finish time was a 36:35.8. It’s definitely not my best 5K time ever; in fact, it might qualify as my slowest 5K time. But considering everything, I’m happy with it. Plus it’s a great starting point for lots of trail race PRs!

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