This race was a challenge for me because I have a cold and probably shouldn’t have been out running, but missing a chance to race was enough to get me out there. Weather conditions were 33 degrees with 29 mph winds gusting to 35 mph. I had never done this race before and would rank it in my top most challenging so far. Perhaps because I’m not much of a trail runner and also because I’ve never had to manuever up and over barricades (steeple chasers) before. The ground was uneven and muddy, but luckily not icy. I had my secret weapon thanks to this month’s Runner’s World article and my husband. We turned my last pair of running shoes into trail shoes by screwing in cleats (sheet metal screws) into them, very cool! I plan to use these bad boys on the snowy road as I train this winter. I’m so happy to have completed this race injury free and just hope my head cold doesn’t punish me more later.