Yesterday morning was the Angry Tortoise 25K trail run in the Cary State Forest north of Bryceville, Florida. I decided to run this event because it is fairly close to home and long enough that I knew I would have to use the Galloway run walk run method or I would surely suffer. Calling this event a trail run is a bit of a stretch since it was run almost entirely on forest service jeep roads but it probably fits the range of running events loosely defined as trail runs, especially in Florida.
During the week leading up to Saturday I envisioned running for nearly 3 hours in a downpour since the probability of precipitation for Saturday was very high. It was in fact a very wet week with plenty of rain in the area. I was pleased with only light rain a couple times while running but the forest trails and roads were quite wet. A couple of areas on the course the entire jeep road was under water and through the water was the only option. The first one about ankle deep the second nearly knee deep.
This was the first year for the Angry Tortoise and registration was capped at 75. Organizers hope to return next year and add a 50K option. Based on race swag I think there will be plenty of repeat entrants. The Friday evening email from the race director the night before the event mentioned an apple pie for each runner. This presented quite a dilemma for me. How can I run 15.5 miles and turn down an apple pie??? Yet, with my weight higher than I prefer and knowing I would get no help with a pie from my gluten free spouse, I knew that if I accepted the pie, I would eat the whole thing.
After I ran for nearly 3 hours I located a bagel and banana not far from the finish line. At the pavilion I sat down at a picnic table that just happened to have nearly 75 apple pies stacked on it. A young woman was sitting at the table digging into an apple pie with a plastic fork. This was the dutch apple variety with plenty of that crumbly stuff on top. Man that pie looked good. I heard someone ask her if she was going to eat her pie right there. She replied yes, that if she took it home she would have to share it with her kids. I had another bite of my banana. A minute or two later I asked her how many kids she had at home. She said she had 3 little girls. I reached over and pulled a pie off the stack, handed it to her and told her that her girls could have my pie. I think she thought I had lost my mind somewhere in the forest but thanked me between bites of pie.
The next table contained neat rows of dark green ceramic mugs with the event logo on them. It turns out that every finisher got a mug. Something I was not expecting and a nice change from the usual finisher medal.
The way I feel today, I just might visit the Angry Tortoise again next year.