The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Is it still technically trail running if the trail is under 10 feet of water?

Who's the Weenie with the Floaties
A.K.A. Race Report: Waterfront Festival Preview Run
It was a cold fall evening. The ambulances and paramedics were on high alert. 17 or so crazy mofos lined up for a preview run of the 2010 Waterfront Festival Cross Country Race. In my infinite wisdom, I misread the invitation - I honestly thought, we'd be running through the odd creek or puddle. And that there was one deep crossing of 2.5 feet.

There was in fact one crossing of 2.5 feet deep. Well, 3 feet more accurately. The rest were, MUCH deeper. I was in over my head... LITERALLY.

There was an "out" though. If you didn't want to do the water crossings, you could run around them. This option would keep you dry, but would add an extra 1.5K to your distance. The pre-race chatter went something like this... "I'm not doin it-- are you doin it?" ... "I'll do it if you do it." ... "You guys are nuts!" As a gag, I had shown up wearing fluorescent orange water-wings, "What the hell! I'll do it."

We were off.

The pace was slow and relaxed. The anticipation built. Finally, we were at the first crossing: Rik dove in without hesitation. Michelle paused and then poof she was in. I stood there 99% ready to run the extra distance - but then somehow, I mustered the courage and before I knew it, I was in the water.

OH MY GOD It was FREEZING. So cold, it took my breath away. After what seemed like an eternity, I was on the other side. Soaking and freezing. Well, let's keep running! My thighs burned with the coldness - but the whole time I couldn't stop smiling. We must have looked a real crazy bunch to the rest of the people bundled up in fall jackets walking through the park that night.

The finish line couldn't have come any sooner. A personal victory maybe... Speedster Liam (having taken the longer but dry route) was running the hill to the finish, maybe I could edge him out. A final sprint... But the kid got me in the end. Argh!

Definitely a crazy experience. But certainly an experience to remember!

The first crossing. 120 feet. Yellow = Short, but VERY cold and VERY wet. Red = Long, but DRY!

Number two. 80 feet.

Number three. A measly 14 feet.

And finally, 150 feet.

Final time: 28:16. 4th overall! (out of not very many).