Hitting the trails, and thinking about a tri

I went to Eagle Creek Park on Saturday to run trails, and wound up in the middle of a triathlon.

Well, not exactly in the middle. I was safely on trails with six other trail runners. Elsewhere around the park, the triathletes were flying down the road on their bicycles and kicking up a storm in the lake.

Our little group of trail runners stopped a few times at road crossings to watch the action. I thought it was pretty amazing, watching the triathletes zipping by on their fancy bikes.

It looked like fun. This was a sprint (short-distance) triathlon, one of many that takes place at Eagle Creek Park.

Every time I hear of a local triathlon, I think to myself: I’ll have to go check out one in person some time. And if it doesn’t look too intimidating, who knows, maybe I’ll try one out some day.

Well, I finally saw one. And I liked what I saw.

The leaders, of course, were impressive: muscular, intense, fast — flying down the road in a blur on high-tech bikes, 20 miles an hour.

But the midpackers and the stragglers looked a lot like everyday people — average body shapes and average bikes, in no hurry, just pedaling along on all kinds of low-tech bikes.

“Hell, I could do that!” I thought to myself.

Well, OK, yes, I could —  if I had a bike, and if I put in the time training, and if I ever practiced swimming in a lake, or even in a swimming pool, which I haven’t done much of in years.

But that’s a goal for another day. Back to the trail running.

The run was organized by a guy named Charles, who put the word out on the Indiana Trail Running web site.

I ran across the posting a few days earlier, and gladly jumped at the chance. We arranged to meet at 7 a.m. at the north gate — far away from the south gate, where hordes of triathletes were entering the park and clogging up the roads.

Six others showed up for the run, including Terry and Steve, two guys I’ve run with a few times. The other were strangers, but friendly and chatty.tri two

Several of the runners were training for a 50-mile trail race in Michigan in September, called the North Country Trail Run. They were planning to run 25 or 30 miles on this day. I figured I would run between 90 minutes and two hours.

The weather was beautiful: mid-60s and cloudy. Those conditions are almost unheard of in August.

“I feel cheated,” Steve joked. “I want 80 degrees when I run in August.”

We ran and enjoyed the cool air and the sights and sounds of the park. We ran around the lakes, up hills and through the woods. We ran a bunch of loops, circling back to the cars several times for water.

After the second water stop, I decided that was good enough for me, at one hour and 34 minutes. It’s the longest I’ve run since the Buckeye Trail 50K last month.

Steve and Terry called it a morning too, while the others went on for God knows how long.

I had fun getting back to the trails and meeting some new runners. Now all I need is a tough goal, and I’ll have the rest of the year cut out for me.

Hmmm, maybe I should think about the next triathlon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: