A few weeks ago Mitch Rossman sent out an email asking if there were any takers for a run out at the Zumbro River Bottoms. Larry is directing the inaugural Zumbro 100 out there in two weeks and Steve Grabowski and Mitch were planning a run out there.
I quickly jumped in and said I could make the trip; I wanted to get in a long run before McNaughton - scheduled the same day as Zumbro 100 - next year I'll be running Zumbro.
Steve Quick, who is also running Zumbro 100, John Taylor, who will be running McNaughton and Molly Cochrane all came along as well.
Mitch offered to drive us to Zumbro. We met at Steve G. home to begin our trek. As we arrived Zumbro Bottoms we met up with Larry for maps and hooked up with Wayne and his buddy whose name I unfortunately but so typically can not remember. Wayne hurt his ankle on the trail and still ran a good 3 hours with us.
As Molly returned from the bathroom and I went in to change I saw a dead rabbit in the corner. I saw skin and fur and bones and bugs. I couldn't go in. I changed outside. Molly never saw the bunny. I told Larry he had better remove the dead bunny before his race. Molly didn't notice the bunny there after our run either. I just changed outside again.
As Larry was handing out maps and I didn't accept his offer, as typical again, I realized that I decided that I can not read trail maps. At one point I had difficulty reading a trail map and have since, just refused to try. As Molly began to read and discuss the map I realized how foolish I have been. I can read maps to drive from Minneapolis to Pekin IL, to get from Phoenix to Fountain Hills; I have decided I will begin to read trail maps and to learn to navigate. I was very impressed with Molly's and the rest of the groups map reading skills. Molly knew when we were off of the map and found our way back to the trail.
We had a great day of running. The morning began frosty. We were all cold and some were adding layers. Soon enough we were stripping off our added layers and enjoying the sun as the temperature rose out of the low 20's into the low 40's. I had never met Mitch R or Steve G before, and only Molly once, so it was really nice to get to know everyone while running the trail. Mitch and Molly are into adventure racing. I really enjoyed listening about their races, training and all that I don't know, which is everything, about adventure racing.
I thought it was pretty cool that I could jump in with a small group of people, run trail, have something in common with them all, trade stories, get to know one another all in a matter of 6 hours. Isn't that awesome?
What a great way to spend the day! The trail was pretty hard and frozen at the start, within a few hours it began to thaw and we even ran through some mud before the end of our day.
Zumbro 100 will be a great race. If I hadn't already received a comp entry to McNaughton I'd be running Zumbro instead. This will be Andy's last year as race director of McNaughton; you can bet Zumbro will have a much larger entry next year.