Tonight was the first of the 2015 Endless Summer Trail Run series races, and the season began with the Lebanon 10K race at Lebanon Hills in Eagan. The weather today proved to be the biggest factor in the race, as it never stopped raining all day. By the time I was leaving work to go to the race I knew it wasn’t going to be a dry night. But that was fine, since running in the rain can be a lot of fun.
We arrived at the start just shortly before launch, as we had to fight terrible traffic down to the area. John Storkamp gave us some simple directions and then we were off. I have never run this course before so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I ended up launching way too fast, but it was fine since they keep us on a gravel road as long as possible to spread us out. Once we hit the single track the day’s worth of rain started to show itself on the course. The trail was pretty well packed solid, but the upper layer was starting to slick up a bit with all the moisture. The first loop of the 5K course wasn’t too bad, but by the end of the 2nd loop there was a lot of torn up and muddy sections. Overall though, the mud didn’t really play a big impact on the race, at least not like it did in Superior.
In terms of difficulty, this course was incredibly easy compared to some of the places I’ve been running lately. Obviously Zumbro and Superior are in a class by themselves, but even Elm Creek seems slightly more challenging. I told my wife that I was hoping to clear a 1:15 time, as I had no idea how hilly the course would be. I managed a 1:04, which is pretty much what I do for a casual 6 mile road training run. Or perhaps there were some challenging hills, but I’m just really progressing in my training and feeling really good about it all.
I finished the race, and grabbed my beer and slice of pizza before wandering around and seeing if I recognized anyone. After realizing that I was getting chilled we decided to head back the car and get home since it had been a long day already. I’m anxiously looking forward to the next run at French Regional Park in a few weeks. That’s going to be an awesome and fun 5K with more beer and pizza to finish off the night!