Sometimes you gotta go beyond the pavement.
You gotta go deep, way on back
Cross a few creeks and a couple little shacks
You gotta get lost way on out
Crickets and frogs, yeah you’re getting close now.
-Banjo, Rascal Flatts
The sun flared overhead as a last winter chill grasped at the early April morning air. My sneakers crackled over rocks and dirt while I ran a light warmup. With the first XTERRA Atlantic Series race caked in dirt under my laces, this was sure to be another fun challenge.
Volunteers manned the registration area and prepared the finish line as the morning activities approached. There would be a 10k and 5k traversing the wooded area of Seneca Creek Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I was ready to attack the longer distance. Though wary of my pained effort in the previous race, I was confident that my legs were better prepared and that the course terrain would be more forgiving.