Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spillway Classic Race Report

This weekend I ran one of my favorite NOTC races, the Spillway Classic. The race is only 3mi but it's a trail run full of water and mud and fun.  And it's not far from my house at the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco. (Nothing is close to my house.) This is one of those races where you feel like you make money on the deal. For your $20 (for NOTC members) entrance fee, you get a technical T with free beer and food at the post-race party.  The first 500 finisher got a sweet  Spillway Classic medal that doubles as a bottle opener. If I'd have know that, I'd have ditched my friends to haul butt to snag one. (Well, maybe not)

This year the Big Man and I met up with some of my DetermiNation committee members before the race. 

  Pre-race photos

As we we milling about waiting for the race to start, the sky was steadily darkening.  We were kind of happy about the impending rain. The rain might keep down the temp. But rain storms in SE Louisiana have tendency to come on fast and drench you. More than once, I've been caught running in a rain so hard you can't see.  The rain held out until we were in the trees and then it was just a drizzle.

The rain rolling in

The first mile of the race is run along the spillway levee. This is the toughest part of the race.  It's paved with gravel and you have to watch where your foot lands. There is no shade.

 Running on the levee

The course then turns down into the spillway and proceeds through the “gauntlet.” This is where the craziness begins.  This is the part of the course with the most water and mud. You should not wear new shoes. Most people fall often with help from they're friends. Some runners try hard to get as muddy as they can. (Not me. I'm too much of a girl I guess.) 

After all the muck the course turns onto the main trail deeper into the woods. Then we continue on a path parallel to the canal back towards the finish line. This is the best part. Along the way there are,  log jumps, muddy/slippery sections, low limbs, switch backs, and a wooden bridge. This part is mostly single file. So you have to go the pace of the person in front of you. But this race is more a for fun than speed. It took us 58+mins to run 3mi. Once you are thru the wood, the finish line is not far.

After the race, we headed to the fire hoses to wash the mud off. It took a decent amount of time to wash off the caked on mud.  Some people were still muddy after the hoses. Now they were muddy and wet.

Then it was time for beer and food. The beer line was long. Only 4 taps for 2000 racers. Not nearly enough. I gabbed the Big Man and I hot dogs and chee wees to eat while in the beer line.  I knew we were going to need food before we had alcohol. We grabbed two Michelob Ultra (yuck) each. Then got back in line. 

Post-race party

All that fun and we were home before noon Sunday morning.

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Lori said...

Sounds too muddy for me LOL!

I would probably slip and break my ankle.

Teamarcia said...

Looks like a really fun time. I think I'm too uptight to do the mud thing. I'd probably need a sip or 2 of something to get in there.

Rebecca said...

Nice! I ran that race twice when I lived in NOLA, it looked way mudier this year than the years I ran in it. I miss the cheap monthly NOTC races.

Keep it up!

scott said...

sounds like it was fun. i'll have to give that a shot soon. BTW, ran in the Catfish Fest 5k a couple of weeks back in Des Allemandes. There were only 60 or so people!

Melissa said...

That sounds like a blast!! The mud part would be fun.

If you end up having to head north due to the storm and need help grabbing a place to stay, let me know!

Christina said...

Oooh .. Muddy run. I would definitely slip and have mud all over me.
You are lucky to have so many fun runs!