Monday, May 24, 2010
El Chupacabra de Houston Nighttime 10K Trail Run
This past Saturday I took part in the first El Chupacabra de Houston Nighttime 10K Trail Run. The run took us through the winding trails of the fairly new Lake Houston Park in the New Caney area, which is a joint project of Montgomery County and the City of Houston.
I carpooled over with some friends, arriving at the park for check-in around 8 o'clock. I get a chance to hang out for a while with some of my friends from The Woodlands Running Club as we wait for 9 o'clock to roll around. Someone had brought a supply of glowsticks that we all got ready and adorned ourselves with.
The start went off at 9pm and the road was definitely pitch dark after clearing the starting area and just before heading into the woods--at least pitch dark other than the trail of runner's headlamps and flashlights, although once we got a mile or two out from the start the gaps between the runners allowed full darkness to set in. I ran the whole way with friends, trading a fast run time for having a good time on the trails.
Trail running is much different in the dark. You need to pay constant attention to the next steps in front of you while still remaining aware of the area around you. A couple of times we found runners coming back to the trail that had lost their way, however we never went more than a few feet off the trail.
Waiting at the finish line was a large buffet of BBQ, beer and sports drinks. The BBQ tasted great and the sports drinks were very welcome on the warm and very humid night (no beer for this designated driver).
I would very definitely recommend this race next year for anyone wanting a fun, alternative racing experience...just don't expect a 10K PR in the process!