My long run this weekend was a 20 miler at Clinton Lake with the Western Division of the KC Trail Nerds. Besides being overdressed and undertrained, I had a ball. There were about 5,000 runners there at the start. Ok, maybe it was closer to 15, but it was a huge group for a training run. Most of the group was doing 15-16 miles and there were 4 of us who did 20.
That was the first time I had ever been to Clinton. The course we ran is the same course I'll be running in a few weeks for the Freestate 40 mile race. It's much more runnable than WyCo; I would say it's a better version of the trails at Shawnee Mission Park. With all the rain we had last week, it was super muddy.
The group stayed together for the first 8 miles or so, which I thought was pretty cool. A group this size usually splits up after a mile or two. We ran around the lake, through wooded areas starting to show signs of spring with a carpet green plants starting to spring up. I would have liked to look around more, but if I took my eyes off the trail, I'm sure I would have done a face plant.
After we split, it was Gary Henry, a couple up visiting from Texas, and me. Gary was great. He truly is a trail veteran, keeping pace, telling stories, and even breaking into verse. I slowly dropped back - the full sun sections were frying my HR and I had to take a few walk breaks. But I enjoyed the trails and the company. Besides making sure I made it back (I made one wrong turn), Gary also had cold water in a giant cooler in his car. I changed into dry clothes and refilled my water bottles a few times, before heading back to KC.
I wish Clinton was closer and I could make the Clinton run a regular thing. Maybe it will be a monthly occurrence. It is definitely worth it.
2 days ago