If you are a religious person, you most certainly would believe that the gods, ancestors, fairies, aliens, or what have you, have forsaken Ron Horn and his minions and cast them into eternal darkness with much wailing and renting of garments.
That being said, the Dark and Dirty 6.66 Mile Nighttime Trail Race on Saturday night, May 16th was nothing short of hell.
Perhaps no Pretzel City Sports race has been more daunting, except perhaps for the Ugly Mudder “icecapades” of 2007. Wanderers Steve Mague, Polly Jansen and the Evans family (“First Family of Racing“), Ken, Corbin and Kelsey were up to the challenge and Wandering Pagoda Beth Auman lent her services at the “alternative beverage” stop.
At the start, the runners seemed to be headed toward a regular old jaunt in the woods…in the dark…with headlamps and other assorted glowing accessories. Then, some light rain came down to refresh the travelers about a mile or so in. The light rain, however did not last. Light rain begat steady rain, which begat heavy rain, which begat downpour, which begat a blinding deluge.
Accompanied by thunder and lightning, this turned out to be rather…unsettling. Looking for markers on the ground (chalk, mind you) and ribbons in the trees (luckily, they were reflective) made for more of a scavenger hunt and a survival mission than a trail race. Trails became pools and roads became rivers.
Like something out of a horror movie, the woods were swallowing us whole and digesting us. The only escape was the final scramble up the muddy “boulder filed” next to Mt. Mud where cheering crowds and congratulatory beers awaited us at the much-adored Liederkrantz.
So let this be a lesson, next time you sign up for a PCS event (Double Trouble June 28th!)…beware of potential predators, natural disasters, the apocalypse, etc.
Honestly though, it was a surreal experience…and tons of fun…in hindsight!
Race report by Polly Jansen
Steve Mague: 53:07; 8th overall; 4th in age group
Ken Evans: 1:35:53
Corbin Evans: 1:19:34
Kelsey Evans: 1:35:51
Polly Jansen: 1:07:23