Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run 5K

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Fuzzy running the Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Race 5K
Photo by Zach Freeman

Zach knows that I’m up for a challenge and/or a unique piece of swag and so knew that he’d be able to convince me to sign up for the Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run Series, and then co-incidentally be able to drive him out to the suburbs to do them. The FVWCTS is three trail runs, one a month and of increasing distance (5K, 8K, 10K) on reasonably challenging trails. There’s no giveaway for any of the individual races, only a jacket that you can earn by doing all three.

I’ve been trying to rest up a heal injury, and work has been a little crazy, and so I’ve pretty much taken off running since Thanksgiving. I got out for a little stretch last weekend, and it was definitely a wake-up call for my body. So, of course I made sure not to do any more running until this morning. What am I, sensible?

But the race this morning didn’t go too badly at all. We got there very early, but the convenient Hickory Knolls Discovery Center meant we got to while away the wait indoors looking at nature exhibits and snakes and lizards in terrariums, and sit in comfy chairs watching the birds outside until moments before the race.

Snake friend

Ollie the Uromastyx

The weather had warmed up to a balmy 40°, which could have meant a ton of mud on the trail, but it wasn’t too bad—the trail was a mix of snow, ice, dirt, and mud that was interesting but rarely dangerous. There were quite a few hills in the 5K course, which is always a shock to a Chicago-trained runner. I was pretty happy with my time, all things considered. Maybe I’ll run once or twice before the 8K next month.

Official Results:
Time: 34:01.1
Place: 107 / 165
Pace: 10:58.4
Place in Sex: 75 / 90
Place in Age Group (M40-44): 17 / 19