Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Trail Nut 10k/RNUTs 5 of 6

2013 Trail Nut 10k
RNUTs 5 of 6
Event shirts: Front and Back

     For six months the anticipation had been building. Everything was coming down to one performance. The previous December had been a month full of base building. Each Sunday saw a specific distance...3 miles, 4, miles, 5 miles, 4 miles...then BAM...the Frozen Toe 10k! We killed it! Literally killed it! Knocked the course out in just over 2 hours!

     The plan was to complete 4 Mountain Junkie trail race events at a steady hiking pace. Time and other factors would limit the base building phase to just the one month of December. The Frozen Toe 10k would be the easy one, with the base still holding strong. Come early March, however, at the Explore Your Limits 5k the results would be anybody's guess. With essentially ZERO base maintenance just reaching the finish line would be all that anybody could ask for. BAM! Knocked out the EYL 5k with a steady pace and had a great time!

     Late March would bring the Montvale Park 5 Miler into play. Again having not worked at honing in any endurance skills, we were just looking to finish and feel good about our effort. The finish line greeted us with a sense of amazement as we finished at a faster pace than at the shorter and less challenging EYL race just 3 weeks earlier!

     Now it was all coming down to one determine if all the pain, hard work and sacrifice would yield the ultimate reward. A Mountain Junkies RNUT series qualifying award! 

     The Trail Nut 10k would be our only shot. The coming CtC race had 2 distances, but even the short course would be longer than we could complete as a team. It was the Trail Nut 10k or nothing.

     We approached the starting line with immense anticipation. Everything was on the line...the glory, the glamor, the prestige...all of it! Nothing, however, would be more weighing on our minds than the coveted RNUT series qualifying award...

     The starting horn blasted and we began our epic trek through the woods of Bedford's Fallon Park. Constant up and down for the next six and a half miles. No significant flat terrain would greet us as we defiantly blasted our way through each grueling mile. It was father and daughter against everything that nature had to throw at us. We threw it all out on the course...lifting each other up when the trek seemed insurmountable...beckoning out to "find your inner strength" and "pain is an illusion". 

     Finally, the finish line came into view. "This is it, Faith. I am old and used up, but this is your time...Go now. Charge that finish line with everything you've got! Don't worry about me...I'll find a way to make it across on my own and we will celebrate then!"

     "Hold my back pack, Dad" she replied. I accepted the back pack and though it added weight to my journey I was in no way burdened...indeed, I was honored to be able to lighten the load so that her youth would be unrestrained in reaching her own goals.

     That would be the last time I saw my daughter for nearly 5 minutes. She took off in a hard sprint towards the finish line to stake claim to not just a 4th trail race finish, but to her first RNUT series qualifying award!

     Alone now, I held my head in solid resolve and vowed to press on. For nearly 1/10th of a mile I continued my casual hiking pace. Each step bringing me closer to discovering the fate that had befallen my daughter. Had she made it? Had she fallen along the way? 

     By the time I crossed the finish line myself over one full minute had passed. Frantic, I scanned the festivities for any trace of my daughter and to discover her fate. I stopped for just an instant to get my finish line picture taken and then strolled up to the pavilion where food and drink were being served in abundance.

     There...sitting at a table, nibbling on an assortment of nutritional products, I finally found her. "Faith!" I cried out. "You did it! Your a series qualifier!"

     "Yay!" she calmly replied and continued to ingest her nutritional products. 

     I prepared a plate for myself  so that we could have some time to just kind of let it all sink in. "Wow! Over 20 miles of hiking, across 4 separate events, this 11 yr old child is amazing!"

     We continued to embellish in the feast and watch some of the awards ceremony. Eventually our adrenaline levels started to relax and our glycogen levels started to elevate..."Dad, I'm ready to go home. When can we leave?" Was to be the final words she would speak at this event. Still in awe at her accomplishment, I would inject no barriers into whatever manner of celebrating she wanted to do. "Uh, yeah...we can leave now if you want." was my reply and off we went. 

     The battle was won. June will grant us participation at the RNUTs cook out when the series awards are handed out. Until then our anticipation will be running high...!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to your daughter! I've really enjoyed all your posts this year about your events with her. Great things are ahead for her, for sure.