Quivering Quads 10K Trail Run 

November, 2003 

I ran my first trail run. It was called the Quivering Quads Trail Run and took place at the Cuiver River  State Park in Troy,  Missouri.  When you arrive in the park you park in a lot and there are shuttles that drive you to the start which is a simple trailhead. Fleet Feet is the race sponsor and they bring everything to the site. Temperatures were in the low 30s and there were bonfires burning-it was chilly.  The run takes place on a single track trail and along the way it is marked with florescent pink plastic ribbons. I had arrived early and my friend Pete gave me some race course tips. At the start I placed myself conservatively towards the back because I figured it was better to pass than to slow people down. We started running and it was so much fun! I was a grinning like a fool the whole time I ran. Here we were running through the woods, its cold, we're crossing little creeks, jumping over fallen trees and I was loving it. About a mile into the run I crossed a creek and going back up the ravine I fell face first landing on my right hand and arm.  I ended up with a battle scar of a bruise about 2 by 3" above my bicep. When I fell my right foot went in the creek, so I had a wet foot.  I just thought to myself, ok, I've gotten the falling part over with now I just move on. Funny thing is probably half of the runners fall. I would hear people fall behind me and then you hear a fellow runner say You OK? It is a really different environment than a road race, because people sort of watch out for one another. The reality of it is there is an ambulance at the start/finish and I saw two medic's help a guy with a wrapped ankle hobble to his car. The risk of injury is high, and I think you can only do this when you have no major races/plans in the near future. The run itself was a different type workout, and I was sore just from a 10K.  I really didn't push it in a cardio manner (except on the uphills) it was just so much fancy footwork and jumping over logs. I've been reflecting on the race and there were some moments when I realized that this was really risky-one side of the trail had an abrupt drop leading down to a stream. At one point on the course they had this yellow warning like tape and you got really close to the edge---and perhaps that is what made it feel like such an accomplishment when I finished. I have to say that this was running just for the joy of it-at one point I just wanted to shout "This is so much fun!