Saturday marked the first race of the 2013 Forge Trail Series. The Dirty Soles races were held at Pelican Park/Northlake Nature Center in Mandeville. There were 3 options, a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon. This also marked the first time I haven’t run a race in the series since it began in 2010. However, I was in charge of the timing. It was, well, quite and experience.
Manual timing seemed pretty straightforward in my head. I had a list of the race numbers, and I would just write the times down as they came through, then enter into an Excel spreadsheet to record the results. Let’s just say it sounds much easier than it is. When a pack of 6 people finish within seconds of each other, identifying the numbers, times and finish order becomes quite a challenge. I ended up just writing down race numbers and times, then trying to enter them in the spreadsheet between finishers. Again, that sounds easier than it was.
I’m sure I made a few mistakes, but hopefully it wasn’t anything that upset anyone or will keep them from coming back. It was quite the learning experience. I’ve already started planning how to streamline my process and make it better for the next race.
On a better note, I served my homebrewed pale ale to the race finishers. The whole 5 gallon keg was floated an hour after the first 5K finisher was done. Fortunately there were a couple of brown ale homebrew kegs there as well from two other runners, but they didn’t last much longer either. I think everyone enjoyed the fact that there was homebrewed beer, crafted by some of the same people who were out there running, and in my case timing, the trail race. There were roughly 175 people, so the kegs didn’t stand a chance. But all the homebrew was gone, while the ice chests were still filled with cans and bottles of local craft beer when we loaded up after everyone had left. But what makes me proud is that there was nothing but homebrew and craft beer served and the runners loved it. There were no Bud, Miller or Coors products, and that makes me happy. Every beer served at this race was brewed within a 75 mile area of the event location. Supporting local races and local beers is important to me, and I’m glad to have been a part of it.
The next race is the Forge Headhunter on March 9th in Denham Springs where there will be another 5K, 10K and 21K. Going to brew the Headhunter IPA soon for those racers.
That will be followed by the Equinox 50K and 10 miler on the beautiful trails in Clear Springs, Mississippi on March 23rd. The beer is yet to be determined though, but it will be a spring seasonal type brew.
Cheers and happy trails.