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<p>I had planned on running a 5k on friday evening but at the end of thursdays 7 miler, my right foot was sore so I decided to take friday off and run a 5k saturday evening.  I got to the race about an hour and a half before the start and registered.  I drove around to see as much of the course as I could since a mile of it was on a bike trail.  Since it was still close to 90° at 8 pm, I took off easy on my pre-warmup and ran from from the 3 mile mark to the 2 mile mark in 7:36.  I turned around and took 7:00 to make it back.  About 5 minutes later, the sky got dark and the thunder and lightning came.  Everybody went into the gym to wait for the storm to pass.  At 7:55, they decided to shoot for a 8:15 start but there were ominous black clouds coming from the west.  I went out to do my warmup.  The start was about 1/3rd mile from the church so I ran to the start and out to the first mile and back.  I got to the mile in 7:00 just as it was starting to rain again.  By the time I got back to the start (6:43) I was running through sheets of rain.  I kept running back to the church just as some more lightning bolts lit up the sky.  It was no surprise the race was then canceled.  I did get 4.75 miles in and everybody stuck around to eat a spaghetti dinner.  I had thought about doing a trail race instead of this one so I took off for pennsylvania.</p>
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<p>I got to the park where the race was going to be held about 12:30 am.  I decided to go back into Indiana, Pennsylvania to sleep.  Since it was too late to hunt down the Wal-Mart,  I found a nice on-street parking space in a quiet area and went to sleep.  I woke up a little after 6 to find a ticket on my windshield.   I guess I didn't know to look for the signs that said you couldn't park on the street between 2 am and 6 am!!  At least the officer was nice enough to not interrupt my sleep as he was placing the ticket on my windshield.</p>
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<p>I drove out to the state park and gave them my $30 to register.  I had a little food and drink but didn't think it was going to be enough as it was pretty humid.  I drove up the rode and found a store where I got some food and pop.  I warmed up a mile and was ready to go.  After talking to some people, I wasn't real comfortable with how well the course was marked as one lady assured everybody that some people would probably get lost this year as new people were running the event and didn't mark the course as well as last year.  The horn went off and a young guy took off.  Another master runner was 2nd and I tucked in behind a couple other guys in 5th.  We ran about a mile loop to spread the field out before hitting the single track.  I stayed behind for a while until the 3rd place runner asked if somebody else wanted to lead for a while as we came to a clearing.  I took the lead through the next section of single track.  We then came to a large opening and I ran by a couple flags but they soon disappeared and I had no idea where to go.  None of the other runners did either so we headed for a mowed section hoping there would be some flags on the other side of the hill.  After running over the hill and coming to a road, we (about 6 of us) knew we went the wrong way.  We headed back to see the other runners making a sharp left hand turn back into the woods.  We didn't see the second flag as it was placed to far back on the sharp turn.  I now had to somehow work my way around all the other runners on the single track.  I had to wait for an opening and a few stepped aside to let me pass.  I spent the next couple miles getting around about 20 runners.  I finally stopped passing runners and figured I was probably back in 3rd place.  There were actually two races going on and I was running the shorter 15k.  One of the runners ahead was running the 25k.  After 5 miles into the race, I came out of the woods to a grassy area.  I wasn't going to miss a turn this time so when I saw the only flag on my left, I took a left turn onto a wider path.  After running about 20 seconds, the path just stopped and I had made another wrong turn.  As I was running back I saw a gravel road on my left where I was supposed to be.  I got on the road and was now back in 5th.  The front runners were now running together and had already made the turnaround at 5.5 miles.  I got up the road and made the left turn to run up a steep hill to the water tower and around it.  I passed one runner and was closing in on the other.  I caught up to him just as we were going back into the woods and stayed behind for a little bit.  He was tiring a little and let me pass.  My right foot had started aching about 4 miles in but hadn't really affected my race.  I had started to pull away from the last guy a little and went to jump a small ravine.  When my foot hit the ground, I felt a sharp pain in my plantar fascia and my foot really started hurting.  I was thinking about dropping out but it was going to be the same distance back whether I ran or walked.  The guy I had passed caught back up with me and ran behind for a while.  As long as I ran on the outside of my foot, I could keep a pretty good pace but when the trail sloped the wrong way it was pretty painful.  The shock of the sharp pain wore off a little though and I finally dropped the guy I was leading.  Now I was looking at my watch trying to figure out how much longer I had to run and how many more hills I had to climb.  The second to last hill after 65 minutes of running was the hardest as I almost had to walk some.  I finally made it out of the woods and thought I was ready to finish only to be told I had another loop to run.  When I asked how much farther, the guy just told me it was "a little way to go"  Then during that loop, I had to guess at one point which way to go.  I finally made it to the finish in 77:58.  I probably gave away 3.5 to 4 minutes going off course.  I ended up 2nd overall and again reminded myself why I shouldn't be doing trail races. </p>
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<p>I hung around eating water melon and talking to the other runners until the first place runner finished the 25k.  I had run another race this winter he was in and did a cooldown with him that day.  There was a hill so steep on his extra loop, he said it took him 8.5 minutes to walk up!!</p>
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<p>For my second place overall effort, I ended up with a pair of socks and about 4-6 weeks off to let my foot heel.  I drove back into town and paid off my parking ticket and headed to Pittsburgh for a cheesesteak sub and a boatload of french fries at the Original Hot Dog shop near Pitt U.</p>
 

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<p>Well crap. That just sucks. Run that hard, make up so much ground, and end up on the DL for awhile. Well, you can't say you haven't had a great streak of good running for some time now. Hopefully you caught the foot issue in time to make it a quick recovery.</p>
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<p>Poorly marked trail runs are the worst. I went off course on a HM last year, on a course I'd run a couple times before! Nothing like doing almost 14 miles on a day you'd planned to run just 13.1... Good job on the placing after all that, really!</p>
 

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<p>Uggghhh.  This was a nightmare weekend for sure.  You ran very well considering the carppy job the organizers did setting map flags up for you.  I really hope your foot is okay after a little time off it.  You do not deserve to be injured for this effort.</p>
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<p>Bill</p>
 

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<p>That really bites, Rip!  Hope your foot isn't as bad as it seemed at the time.</p>
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<p>Trail races that are that poorly marked are inexcusable in my opinion.  They really should have made more of an effort to clearly mark them if there were non-obvious turns.  I've gone off course once, but it was my own fault for thinking I remembered the way, zoning out and not paying attention.  In my last race, one of the volunteers started pulling about 400m of flags too early, but thankfully it was on a part of the course where there were no side trails to get lost on anyway.  And the RD apologized profusely after.</p>
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<p>Regardless, terrific performance despite crappy circumstances.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>Well,  you have to report the bad with the good.  I have had a great last 6 weeks of racing with a huge 4 mile masters pr.   My foot is feeling a lot better so I am hoping another couple weeks and I can give it a try.   It won't be the last time I overdo it and get injured<img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="width:16px;height:16px;" title="">.</p>
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<p>I did read a couple senior golfers had to pull out of the tournament this week because of foot problems.  At least I hurt mine running hard 8-10 miles a day!!</p>
 

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<p>"one lady assured everybody that some people would probably get lost this year as new people were running the event and didn't mark the course as well as last year."</p>
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<p>I can't remember reading a RR that both made me laugh and p*ssed me off as much as this one.  What hard luck!  I hope that foot heals up well for you.  You are one tough runner.  Spareribs</p>
 

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<p>The burning question is: how much did the parking ticket set you back?</p>
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<p>Aww... really sorry about how things went and I hope that foot heals very quickly.   You are without a doubt a tough runner!  Congrats on 2nd OA.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<p>The parking ticket wasn't too bad at $15.  I just considered it a small price to be safe since I didn't want to stay out in the middle of nowhere. (Who would bother me with all the police around handing out tickets?) Had I actually  planned the race, I could have parked and stayed for free at the Boy Scout camp where we ran.</p>
 
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