This past Saturday I ran a trail race at the Sandridge State Park in Manito, IL, about a hour south of Peoria. I had picked the half marathon race option and at the time when I signed up a few months ago and thought, surely, by mid March the spring weather will be upon us and this would make for a nice little jaunt through the woods. Sandridge State Park gets its namesake due to the very sandy soil conditions that are found there. How sandy is it you may ask? Sandy enough for native cactus to grow there-literally. The name of this race actually is the Cactus Classic. I’ve run it before and it was a nice race. This year however the course was half snow, half ice, half (I know-my math takes a dive at this point) sand, half mud, 100% confusing. Maybe it was the fundraiser we went to the night before that added to the confusion the following morning. Anyway, around mile 5 or 6, there was fork in the trail and myself, along with about 10 other lost souls, apparently took the path less traveled and we got lost. For about 2 miles-lost. In the woods. It was when we started running past the same frozen pond a few times that we figured we were running in circles. 🙂 If you have driven with me while looking at homes in the country-it was kind of the same feeling. So instead of it being 13 miles, we ended up running 15, “running” being a very relative term.
If you want to see a map of the course, try clicking the link below. You can see around mile 5 where things took a turn, literally, for the worse. Two days removed from it now though-I can say it was still a fun time. Won’t ever do it again-but a fun time. 🙂