Dirt Dash Half Marathon Trail Run

Running a trail half marathon in the middle of the Francis Marion National Forest to help raise money for fire fighters is a pretty cool way to spend 9/11...

I parked my car at the Seewee Visitor Center and walked about three quarters of a mile to the starting line, where I joined over three hundred runners who were waiting to for the inaugural Dirt Dash half marathon and 5k.  The course was an out and back through the forest.  Most of the route was on gravel and dirt roads with a short part on grass trails.

The race started a little past 8:00am and the temperature was already heating up.  The first two miles were down a straight away, but because the road was narrow I ended up running in the middle (where the rocks were the biggest) just to get by the crowd.  After getting to an open spot I was able to increase my pace.

Miles three through seven were down a loop that took us deeper into the forest.  The area was shaded for the most part and I kept my pace up.  One negative about the race was that the water stations were only serving water (no sports drinks).  They did have Hammer Gels at mile six and BaNa at nine, but I am used to drinking sports drinks throughout my run.

After mile seven the course turned again for a mini out and back.  The turnaround was at mile nine.  On the way back we ran on a trail for about half a mile and this is where I started to lose steam.  The sun was beating down and the temperature was really increasing.  I have never seen so many people taking walk breaks.

The last four miles were brutal.  It was a straight stretch with full on sunlight and hard rock gravel the whole way.  I twisted my ankle on mile four and it was starting to hurt at this point.  The lack of sports drinks was really taking its toll on me and I ended up taking a walk break of my own.  After seeing the finish line I was able to pick up the pace.

I really had no ideal how fast I would run this race.  I ended up finishing at 2:04.  I attribute this to the fact that trail and dirt roads are different than running on smooth road, the temperature during the race, and the lack of fuel during the race.  Regardless, it was very cool to run through the woods!

My taper for the week:

Sunday - Rest
Monday - 5 mile recovery run
Tuesday - Track workout (setting pace for the race) 3.5 miles
Wednesday - Sick as a dog and stayed in bed!!!
Thursday - Still sick, but ran a 5 mile tempo run
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Dirt Dash - 13.1 miles

Weekly Total = 26.6 miles


Copyright © 2012 Moore On Running.