Back in 2002-2003 I used to run on the Buffalo Trace trail at Lake of the Woods Park in Mahomet every Thursday evening with the Buffalo. We used to live on the northwest corner of Champaign, and it was quicker and easier to get to Lake of the Woods for the Thursday night runs than it was to get to Meadowbrook Park in Urbana for the Tuesday night runs.
The running club eventually started a race on this course, apparently in 2003. I didn’t run it that year and I have no recollection why. I must have been out of town. The following year I had just torn cartilage in my knee. The next two years were the same story. The year after that we were in Nicaragua. The year after that I opted for a bike race instead that day. Last year I ran the Rockford Marathon instead that day. To make a long story short (too late), this morning I finally got the chance to run the nearest trail race to my home in its eighth year.
I won’t bore you too much with the details, because it turned out like pretty much every other race I’ve run in recent years (with a few exceptions). I started too fast. I gradually slowed down. I felt dead by the end. My last mile was over one minute slower than my first mile. Decent race, but not great. I ended up about 45 seconds slower than my fastest time on that trail. I finished 5th overall (out of 188) and 1st in my age group.