Back to the Start Line

I’ve been sidelined for just over a year with back issues and haven’t been able to really run until recently. I’ve done some stuff here and there, but haven’t been back to the start line since the Vermont50 back in September of 2013. I know, right? Wow.
This past week I saw a blurb on my FB timeline about a local 5 or 10k trail race that is part of the Western New Hampshire Trail Running Series. This particular race was to be held in the town forest that is visible from my office window! How could I NOT enter this race? I’d run those trails for hours and hours while getting ready for the VT50. Lots of hills. LOTS. Long and steep. Some good rollers, too, and the occasional flat sections. Mostly technical single track covered with rocks, roots, dirt, and debris. Very few double track sections. Hours of entertainment. Seemed like a good reason for me to get back to the start line. So I tossed it up to FB late in the week: 5k or not
In true form, the comments were exceedingly warm and fuzzy. Here’s a perfect example:
why not
I mean, really. How can I NOT get back to the start line with that kind of love? Then more comments started to pour trickle in. I appreciated every last one of the comments:comments
I checked with Tracey, and was given the green light to go back to the start line. Registration was handled well; I showed up as they were finishing setting up the table and was greeted politely and encouragingly. I took my laid back number and returned to the car to smoke some bowls and eat brownies catch some shut-eye and wait for the shuttle to the start.

smoke 'em if ya got 'em
smoke ’em if ya got ’em
The course was very well marked, and volunteers were positioned at critical intersections (5 and 10k stayed together for the first mile or so, then split), water table was well supplied and had nice people at it, and the runners on the course were well behaved and supportive.
start area. GO!
start area. GO!

I ran alone most of the time, except when I was trying to stay on the heels of a couple of young wiper-snappers for the last half of the race. The first mile-ish was basically up a cliff, then some flat, then back down a different route. I am still afraid to let it all hang out when running, but still managed to have a great time.
Thank you for your support and encouragement to get me back to the start line. I’m planning my next adventure, perhaps a 10k this time. Why the hell not, right? Right.
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