Bloomington, IN: First Day Trail Run at Lake Monroe

Happy New Year! Hope your year is off to a great start. We had friends over for the midnight festivities, then yesterday I headed out with some other friends to run it all off.

All around Indiana, the state parks hosted some kind of first day run/walk/hike/ride. Lake Monroe hosted a run/walk for the 3rd year in a row. 


The event is well done. You can either pre-register beforehand online or register on site. Both were $15 with the money going to events at the lake, but pre-registration also got you a $15 gift card to the restaurant at the Fourwinds. Either registration got you a meal ticket to a buffet at the Fourwinds after the run. The event is untimed and non-competitive, but of course you can do as fast (or slow) as you want. There were two routes you could do, a short 1.55 mile or a longer 4.26 mile. My friends and I did the 4.26 mile route.

There was a very hot bonfire going before we started that we stood around, since it was around 30 degrees.


The run or walk itself started at 3:30, with a series of announcements happening for 10 minutes before then. This was the only part of the day I didn't like. The announcer lady a) couldn't be heard and b) made us move from the bonfire to c) described in excruciating detail every turn of the course. Standing in the cold for 10 minutes before going to run is a bad idea. She lost most everyone after about 3 minutes because everyone just wanted to get out there! The trail was incredibly well marked, there were volunteers stationed at any turn that was potentially confusing, and there were even a bunch of photographers stationed around, so it was almost impossible to get lost or left behind. No need to make everyone wait like that for so long.



Finally we started on the run! Steph, Rhonda, and I got caught behind a lot of walkers at the start and finally made it out to open space, only to get caught behind walkers during the first woods section which was single file. At the time it was frustrating (at races - which this wasn't, of course - the slower people or walkers are made to start at the back, so this doesn't really happen) but it turned into a blessing in disguise. The section through the woods at the start was all uphill. All three of us were not feeling 100%, and we wound up being forced to walk a lot of the uphill here due to not being able to pass people. This, as we found out, ended up giving us a lot more left in the tank later in the game when we had a million more hills later in the course.


My phone lets me take photos by pushing the volume up button (instead of having to tap the screen, helpful when you have gloves on), so I carried it with me and snapped a photo every once in a while. Here are some photos from the course -- there were woods, grassy fields, hills, downhills, views of the lake, puppies, lots of people of all ages, and sunshine:









And an hour later, the finish chute! Our fitness trackers told us we went about 4.3 miles in just around an hour. Trail running is a lot slower than road running (a lot more hazards to work with) and a lot of fun.


After the run, we were all starving and happy to go inside the Fourwinds for the food. They had quite the spread, and also had water and Gatorade. There were unhealthy things (fried mushrooms and jalapeno poppers) as well as tons of healthy food (bell pepper slices and tons of fruit), and even pizzas. We all wound up going through a second time when they brought out different food (meatballs and chicken skewers). It was a great way to end the event.



Growing up my dad would always make sure we ran on the last day of the year and the first day of the new year -- finish and start strong. This event (and all the others around the state) was a great way to start off 2016.
Bloomington, IN: First Day Trail Run at Lake Monroe Bloomington, IN: First Day Trail Run at Lake Monroe Reviewed by Maria on 10:59:00 AM Rating: 5

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