Monday, January 29, 2018

Fun Times on a Favorite Trail



Do you have a favorite little home town race? You know, one that keeps you coming back every year?

It's true, I enjoy the big races...with their official timing mats and fancy tech shirts (in gender-specific sizing, none the less). They usually have nice bling and draw a huge crowd, some even have bountiful post-race spreads of food and drink.

But, often times, those big events lack the small town charm the smaller races offer. One such (somewhat) small event that I have done numerous times is the Grimes Farm Run.


This event is a dandy one! I first ran it in 2013, then eagerly returned in 2014, and also in 2015. Running it (again) in 2016 was just a given. Had I not been nine days post-op from that unfortunate surgery last summer, I would have run it also in 2017.
With my friend, Linda, and her daughter, Dani...and our bling from 2013
Located in central Iowa, a few miles south of Marshalltown, is the Grimes Farm Conservatory. Every year, the Grimes family host the Grimes Farm Run (usually the second Saturday in July) and it is always well attended, but not overly crowded.

A great feature about this event is there is something for everyone. There's a kids run, a 1.6-mile  run/walk, a 5K run/walk, and an 8K (approx. 5 miles) run/walk. All events are held on the conservatory's property, which involves limited asphalt trails and lots of grassy, wooded trails through the brush.
from 2016....I usually wear knee socks to ward off potential ticks from sneaking into my shoes
The grassy trails are beautiful, but do present some obstacles. The dew-covered grass is usually slippery, there are numerous tree roots, sloping hills, and plenty of mud when you're in the thick of the forest. Let's not forget the July heat (and subsequent humidity) is always a factor as well. Myself, I like the challenge of running trails such as these. I think it moderately levels the field of competition in that no one has a flat (or straight) surface to do their thing on...you have to step cautiously, and be constantly looking not only forward but also down at your feet to steer clear of the natural debris inherent of a woodland setting.
You  might want to wear an old pair of shoes because they will get dirty
Another feature of the 5K and 8K courses is Mildred's Tower. Situated near the 1-mile point of the route (high atop a hill), every participant has the option of climbing the tower for a bonus door prize. Naturally, that will affect your finish time....but, so what? The tower has three levels, so you don't sacrifice that much racing time by taking on this extra conquest.
doesn't this look like a fun detour?
And, if bling is your thing, this event will give you great odds in taking home some hardware. Not only are there plentiful age group awards (for runners AND walkers), but also overall placings. I have been fortunate to have snagged age group awards every year I've run this (I've always done the 8K).
In 2015, it was a double-bling day...2nd in my age group, and 3rd overall female in the 8K
So, did I pique your interest? Have you ever run a trail race such as this, through the woodland? Care to venture to Iowa and run this with me?

For more information on the Grimes Farm Conservatory, you can check out the website HERE.


**I'm  linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run. We're chatting about favorite local races. Join the conversation!

**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.


**And, I'm also linking up with Nicole and Annmarie for the Wild Wednesday Workout


By the way...are you following me on social media? You can find me at these various platforms:
Let's connect : Facebook Instagram  Pinterest Twitter


49 comments:

  1. That sounds like a fun race. I love small local races.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ive never done a trail race! I do think a small one would be much more manageable for someone like me who is new to trail running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't get much opportunity for trail races of this magnitude, but I have done this race four times. It's a very different kind of running.

      Delete
  3. Sounds fun! I haven't done a trail race either. We don't have too many around here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a forest preserve a few miles outside of town, but it's just far enough away that I don't get out there often. This race is about 30 miles away....somehow I manage to drive to this one, though LOL

      Delete
  4. I've never done a trail race - I'm too scared of falling, lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first time I did this race, I took a major tumble and bruised a few ribs. OUCH.

      Delete
  5. I've only done trail 5ks, nothing longer. I love the tower climb aspect of that race. Fun!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Definitely sounds like a fun one. I'm not big on trail races (because I fall on flat pavement).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha. I'm pretty gifted at tripping, but haven't hit the ground too many times...

      Delete
  7. That looks awesome! I really want to try a trail run one of these days... looks like a blast.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How fun! The bonus tower climb seems pretty unique. I love that there are so many different options too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people skip the tower climb...hello? They're already gonna have a slower finish time anyways because trail running is a lot tougher than street running. Why not do the little extra climb? ;-)

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. awesome!! You should travel out to Iowa and do this race!

      Delete
  10. I considered a trail race this year, but I zone out a lot when I'm running, which doesn't help when I need to be looking out for things that'll trip me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, there's no zoning out allowed on these kinds of races LOL

      Delete
  11. That actually really sounds fun!! I would totally climb that tower, too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have only ever done one trail race and it was my ultra. I always feel like I got to be more cautious with my footing on trails. Don't want to trip over a root, which I have in the past. Those are some fun socks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trail running/racing certainly is a different animal than typical street running/racing. That's what makes it fun, though (at least in my opinion) ;-)

      Delete
  13. this totally sounds like my kind of race!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have much for trails in my area, so this event is always a fun experience ;-)

      Delete
  14. I've gotta say trail running is something I have not yet to try! I am such a klutz, I am so afraid of falling and twisting something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm Queen Klutz myself, but trails are a fun change from street running. They actually work a lot more muscles, too, because your ankles get a lot of action as does your core from the constant "balance checks."

      Delete
  15. I love the 8K distance but we don't have that many of them. Local small races are so much fun and less stressful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazingly, there are a few 8K/5-mile events in my area. They are a fun distance!

      Delete
  16. It sounds like a fun event! I love when they have races for all ages/distances.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My guess is the only race I'll end up doing in IA is a half. :) But I love a small race with a good cause!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have never run a trail race like this, but it sounds like a really fun one! I especially love that there's a distance for all ages! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There aren't too many trail races like this close by, so I always try to do this event.

      Delete
  19. That looks like such a fun race! I've never done a trail race before but I'd love to!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trail races are fun, but definitely quite a bit different than a typical road race.

      Delete
  20. That tower one sounds crazy! I can't imaging running up and down stairs in the middle of a race!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the tower is only three levels, so it's not a big deal. It's a fun little twist to the competition ;-)

      Delete
  21. This sounds like fun! I would LOVE to come to Iowa and run with you. Probably can't this year but maybe we can make it happen for 2019??

    ReplyDelete
  22. That sounds like a fun race! I like the added tower challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tower really is fun...I'm surprised more don't do it. Of course, not everyone shares in my enthusiasm for a stair-climbing challenge LOL

      Delete
  23. What a cool course! Definitely piques my interest!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow!! Stairs during a race--I'd be terrified of breaking an ankle!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love hometown races and trail runs! Unfortunately, my husband and I put on the local trail race so I don’t ever get to actually run in it!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've never done a trail race before! I've done trail running a few times and have enjoyed it, though I think I'm generally more apt to run on the road. My husband and I are thinking of doing a trail 10k or half this year.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It does look like a great race! I would love to do more trail races this year - the races feel more like an adventure!

    ReplyDelete