It’s already March and it still feels like the dead of winter some days. Sunday was one of those days in Bend, Oregon. Snow, rain, fog and a little wind were the conditions but that’s not going to stop over 65 runners from partaking in the 1st Mastondon Trail Race. This is one reason I love Central Oregon. Even though most days are full of sunshine, a little cold and wet morning doesn’t deter the local running community.

mastondon-before-race

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The race began at 9:00am and on my watch actually a couple minutes early. But that’s better then late in my book.I was freezing and ready to get moving.

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My marathon training partner, Jamie, and I ready to get started at the beginning of the race.

courtney-and-jamie-before-mastondon-race

I wanted to take it easy on the first mile or so because I tend to go out too fast. I did and in turn that kind of freaked me out a little and I started to pick up the pace. The trail was a single track. This means that you run in a single file line and when you want to pass someone you have to jump off the track and hop over rocks and bushes to get in front. Sometimes people are courteous and move to the side so you can pass. Honestly, at the end of the day it is a race so I’m thankful for those who do this but at the same time never expect it.

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This race was organized by Superfit Productions, aka Super Dave.  He’s a local guys who puts on some great trail races around town. The Mastondon Trail Race was thrown together last minute which is the main reason for the low numbers. I signed up because it fit perfectly within my training for the Big Sur Marathon in April and it’s hard to pass up a trail race around here. I convinced myself this was simply another training run but after my “easy” first mile my competitive nature took over and I had to pass the person in front and so on.

mastondon-courtney-running

Some of my adventures during the race included:

Mile 5.5 aid station. I had a Gu Energy Gel with me and grabbed an Octane drink they handed out. I have to drink something with a Gu or I’ll have a super dry mouth and that’s all I can think about the rest of the race. As I ate my Gu and held onto my drink I tried to inhale them as fast as I could. Then I passed the trash can so I guess I had to just hold onto both. Oh and by the way there were 2 girls in front of me I wanted to catch and another was on my tail. And one last thing, it was a spot on the trail where a photographer was. I’m sure I looked darling… not so much. Anyways, so I finally ate the Gu, drank what was left of my drink after most of it splashed out then I stuffed both of them in my back pocket of my top. That took way too much time and energy. I definitely need a better plan next time.

Mile 6.5 my shoelace came untied. This happened just after I passed a girl. So then I had to step to the side like an idiot and watch her pass me as I tried to tie my shoes with my frozen fingers that didn’t want to work. I eventually caught back up to her and passed her again but again….wasted time and energy. I swear both shoes were double knotted but maybe not tight enough. Another factor to improve on next race.

Mile 7-8 was definitely the most challenging. It felt like a gradual uphill and no one was around me so it felt like a race with me, myself and I.

Mile 9 was my “Oh shit! That’s amazing” moment. And yes, I actually said those words to myself and almost stopped in my tracks. It’s the part of the trail where you come up to a ridge that overlooks a deep canyon with the Deschutes River below. It was breath taking. I had my phone with me and actually contemplated taking it out to snap a picture. Then I remembered I was in a race, duh. I’d have to make a point to come back and I will. Pretty much the entire mile 9 was along the ridge and I loved every minute of it. Definitely my favorite part of the race.

Mile 10-finish I was dying. I know I slowed down even though I was trying to keep up the pace. A few things need to be tweaked in my training and nutrition to help this.

I finished and was happy to be the 2nd female. Another perk of this being a last minute race put together was the “prize” was $20 cash. No gift certificate, medal or other random race prize, just money. It seemed to come straight from the race directors pocket! It almost covered the cost of the race, which was $25. I was happy to win something. I’ve been wanting a new hat to run with so maybe I’ll use it for that!

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They announced at the finish that they plan to do this race again next year but may change a few things. I hope the race stays very similar, it was a lot of fun. My only suggestion would be for it to be a more exact distance. It’s listed as 12.5ish miles. My phone clocked 13.02 miles but I know that’s a little high. It’s nice to be able to know your splits for each mile and how you averaged overall. You can’t really do this when the distance is estimated. In any case, it was a fun, laid back event. I’m looking forward to the next one!