I ran a trail run for my first marathon. More experienced runners thought that was a bit crazy to do a trail run for my first crack at a marathon, but I didn’t know why. But I found out. Trail runs can be basically like a Warrior Dash. We ran along a beach, through mud, massive puddles, and up and down massive hills while avoiding getting smacked in the face by pine trees. I ran the majority of the race in wet shoes.
Around the 20 mile mark I was running downhill in a creek bed full of stones. Each foot strike was excruciating, as I had to stabilize my body and push off extra hard against the pebbles. The half marathon portion of the race was now on the same track, and the runners who whizzed past me offered encouragement: “We can because we think we can- get it.” “Good job.” “Keep it up.”
This was my first marathon, and I had no idea how great running in a group race for such a long distance with could be. Being around expert runners who encourage other runners was an invaluable experience.
The last part of the run was relatively flat. I found a trot that I could sustain, and made it across the finish line.