Flag Day Trail 10k (45:40)

The Flag Day Trail Race was put on by the base.  While anyone could race (and it was promoted to all of South Jersey), the majority of people who ran were in the military.  It was a really cool event and one I had been looking forward to all month.

The race itself was located in central NJ at the Brendan T. Byrne State Park.  It was about an hour north east of me.  This summer I’ve gotten lucky that most races are only 20 minutes away (including Philadelphia races).  I hadn’t driven an hour for a race in quite some time!

I got to the race pretty early.  After helping out with a few things, I warmed up.  It was extremely muggy and also buggy.  I’ve never attracted that many bugs before.  They were swarming around me.

brendan t byrne state park

The 10k went off at 8:30.  Immediately I positioned myself as second person.  I stayed there and by the end of the first mile, I found myself alone.  I couldn’t see anyone ahead or behind me.

The only thing that kept me knowing I was going the right direction was the course arrows every half mile.  We were running through sand and it was hot.  I already knew this would not be a fast race. I hit the first mile in 7:10.

During the second mile, we came across a few logs that had fallen across the course.  I didn’t know if that meant I went the wrong way but I still kept going.  I hurdled the logs (just so I could blog about it).

The second and third mile were the hardest due to the hilly terrain, logs and the never ending sand.  I ran mile 2 in 7:40 and mike 3 in 7:30.

trails 5k

The halfway point took deeper into the trails. I was happier because the terrain was less sandy but more cross country and woodsy.  It gave me a flashback to good ole cross-country days (7:14).

At mile 5, I began catching up with some of the 5kers that had started the race later.  (The 5k did half of the 10k course). It was a narrow course but not a big deal.  They kept telling me I was first overall.  I knew there was man in front of me but I hadn’t seen him after mile 1.

The final mile was back on the sand and there was no tree cover.  This was by far the hardest mile. By that point I was tired, hot and my calves were extremely sore (from the sand).  I powered to the end and finished with a time of 45:40.

I was told I had finished the 10k first.  Shortly after I finished the man who I had thought won came in.  He had gotten lost and taken a wrong turn.  I congratulated him and told him he was truly the winner.  Realistically, he was running faster and he would have won if he hadn’t gotten lost.

me trails 5k

I had a great time at the trail race.  While it wasn’t my usual weekend 5k, it was nice to race something different.  My only regret is not wearing my cross-country spikes.  It was one of the few races I could have gotten away with it!  It was also nice to familiarize myself back with the 10k distance as well.

I won a giant gift basket full of Earth Balance Peanut Butter and snacks.  It was one of the coolest and most unique prizes I’ve won!

earth balance peanut butter

I don’t have any races until the end of the month.  I’m tentatively doing another 10k.  I remember last year that the Pineland Striders 10k was extremely hot and humid.  Oh well, that is what summer is racing is!

Questions for you: 

Have you run a trail race or sandy race? 

Do you like the 10k distance? 

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  1. I’ve run my fair share of trail and beach races, and I appreciate the comparative lack of pressure with road races. Marathons and ultras on the sand are brutal though, and I definitely need to improve on the technical parts of these courses to avoid slowing down to a walk for fear of tripping and falling.

    10Ks are okay. I don’t mind them, and there was a time in 2008-9 when I really enjoyed them. I’d rank them below marathons and ultras but ahead of half marathons (which I absolutely hate) and 5Ks (which I have no idea how to run or pace).

    Congrats on your overall win – that’s very impressive!

    1. 5ks are the worst to pace, I’m with you there!

      I was not used to the single lane or technical part of the trail. It really took a toll on me as well!

  2. Congrats! And that’s such an awesome gift basket. Love it! I’m not a fan of trail running and especially not trail races, but I like to do it once in a while to change things up. I haven’t run a 10k in a few years and I’m doing one this Friday night. I’d love to break 40 min, but we will see if the stars are aligned or not. Ha! Great job on the race, Hollie!

  3. Congrats on winning the overall race and beating all the dudes! And that prize pack looks awesome, way better than a trophy.

  4. I have never run a trail race before and have only ever did a single trail run ever. But I’m going to be doing some more in the future as a way to get altitude training so that should be interesting.

    Congrats on your 1st place finish! That’s awesome!

  5. Ummmm that gift basket is a runners dream. So jealous and obsessed of all that peanut butter!! I’ve run a few trail 10Ks which I find pretty difficult. I like the 10K distance better than a 5k, but still would prefer a 10 miler or half marathon any day. Also I don’t know how you dealt with the bugs… I am not okay when I am swarmed with gnats. Ugh.

  6. Congratulations on your overall win and such a cool prize. I love those PB Poppers and Earth Balance PB is pretty good :).

    It sounds like this was a really fun event and something different from the usual road race or even the usual trail run. It was great that you did it and supported the military, and a nice change and different kind of running and training than usual. I have run a few trail races and it’s a different atmosphere and experience, and I kinda like that sometimes.

    I really like the 10K distance, but they are very hard to find around here. We only have a few. In the summer, Charleston only has 5Ks or 50Ks (seriously- almost all the ultras here are between May and September!), but I’m waiting around for a nice 10K this Fall!

  7. Great job!! I feel for that guy who got lost. That freaking sucks. Hopefully he was in good spirits.

    The 10k is probably my favorite distance. Short, but not so 5k painful.

  8. Congrats on the win! I definitely wouldn’t have felt like I truly won the race knowing the guy who was ahead of me got lost. I understand you congratulating him!

    The Earth Balance coconut + peanut butter spread is my second favorite PB of all time. I love it so much.

  9. Congrats on a first place win! That gift basket is the best race prize I’ve ever seen – so much peanut butter!

  10. Great job Hollie! That sounds like a tough race and that was sweet of you to call the guy who got lost the real winner. I think you deserve it for not getting lost! And what a cool prize:)
    Besides cross country, I’ve done a few trail races. My most memorable was the Marathon on the Mountain, held at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. It was a super hilly course but was so much fun running through the trails. Luckily everything was marked really well with police tape so it was impossible to get lost (and also impossible to pass anyone).

  11. All the peanut butter! This race sounds like it was so tough. I had a hard enough time racing 5K on a paved path in last weekend’s heat. You definitely deserved the overall win, because part of racing is staying on course!

  12. Woohoo! Running in the sand is brutal. That’s the final mile at the SoBe Tri, and it’s totally killed me the past two years.

  13. Oooh, awesome swag! I hate buggy runs. I swallowed a bug about a month ago and it was so nasty. Way to go on that race. Sucks that the other guy got lost, though!

  14. What a great prize! Are you a big peanut butter person or no? Sometimes I feel like bloggers are “all about the PB” or “all about the oatmeal”. You don’t seem to have a food you LOVE (just diners lol)

    1. You are right Ellie! I actually am not obsessed with peanut butter. I’ll go through it eventually but probably not extremely quickly. Oatmeal is not my thing at all…I don’t care for the consistency!

  15. Sounds like you had a great race, considering the conditions you had to deal with. I really like 10Ks and I actually want to find a few to run later in the summer. I would love to have won all of that peanut butter–hello running fuel! Congrats on your first place finish!

  16. Still a solid time even with tougher terrain than a normal race! Also cool to be able to do something for the military with your background! 🙂

  17. I’d much rather win groceries than a trophy if I had the choice. I did a trail 10k a few years ago and loved it. Trail races seem to go by faster than road races (even though you end up running slower). Anyway, congrats Hollie!

  18. Wow congrats on your finish! And what a cool prize bucket. Trail races are my favorite. I’m bummed we don’t have more around here!

    1. I like to do trail races occasionally, surprisingly we don’t have a lot around here either!

  19. I’ve not raced the 10K distance since 2012, and after a bad half marathon (45min slower than best time, YIKES!) im thinking of going back to the 10K distance where i can have better control of my speed and not die at mile 10 (i was not trained for this half and boy did i feel the lack of training!)

    Im in love with the 5k but ill take a 10K over a half any day 😉

    1. Sorry to hear about your rough half marathon but I’m glad to hear that enjoy 5ks. I always recommend doing whatever distance you love.

  20. Nice job – overall winner… that’s awesome!! And it totally counts – not getting lost is part of trail races – and you know I love me some trails!!

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