WTF trail race was my worst race ever.

wtf trail raceWTF trail race went down on January 28th, 2018. Although not the fault of the race, I had a terrible time. I thought I would DNF (did not finish) and would be found on the course hours after the race had ended. I did finish, barely. It was rough. We’ve all been there though. What matters is how do we react. Do we give up or do we keep going?

I plan to dust myself off and try again. This was only my second trail race and in an area, I was not very familiar with. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect with the route. To add to it, my ears were plugged. I had woken up the day before the race with ears so plugged I couldn’t unplug them or even move my head much. I took it easy and crossed my fingers that I’d feel better on Sunday.

I did wake up feeling a bit better. My head was still a bit plugged up but I paid so I figured I’d at least go and try. And I really wanted the medal! So I got up, got ready and headed out.

I overdressed. When I was getting my clothes ready the night before, the temps at 8 am were expected to be around 50. In reality, it was already 60. I had set out pants and a t-shirt. I wish I had gone with capris. The t-shirt wasn’t bad but my legs got warm. I also wish I had remembered my headband. My hair was sticking to my face by the end.

WTF trail race stands for Winter Trail Frosty, or as the back of the shirt says, where’s the finish?

131 Events doesn’t have corrals but does do wave starts. They asked slower runners to go to the back. Knowing I was probably going to be slower than usual, I headed to the back. But more people kept lining up behind me. I heard them saying how slow they were and they wouldn’t be as fast as anyone else. Which is weird because usually, runners think they are faster and always want to line up in front! So I ended up in like the 3rd or 4th wave. I started a bit faster than I wanted (always a problem) and I wasn’t prepared for the elevation. There was a lot of climbing in the beginning. I learned with my asthma it’s better for me to walk up than run up these hills. They were a lot steeper than I realized.

At about the three-mile mark I was out of energy. I walked the next 3.25-ish miles. I had to stop and rest a few times. I would guess the combination of sinus issues, starting too fast, and elevation got to me. I just couldn’t get up the energy to run. At one point, I threw up. That was a first for me. I’ve never thrown up from a workout. Granted, it was mostly liquid (and I didn’t even have that much – I drank less than 8 oz over the course of 6.55 miles).  Either way, yuck. Never want to do that again.

Once I saw the finish line, I started a slow run. I crossed the line in 1:53:16. A slow 17:41 pace.

The same company that did WTF trail race is doing a Hot as Hell in May. I plan on doing the quarter again. Now I have an idea of the route and how the race works, I can set myself up better. And hopefully, I won’t be battling my sinuses in May! I had contemplated doing the half marathon but it’s two loops of the same course and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do that. I will stick to the quarter marathon.

I feel 131 Events put on a good event. This was their first WTF race here and using this route (they have a few other road races that have been in Phoenix area before). I liked the atmosphere and the race director was having fun MC-ing before the race. The route was well marked and easy to follow (which is important in a trail race). They had a lot of volunteers on the route to help with confusing areas. I also appreciated the brand of chips they used, as they are gluten free plus a banana. I was a little sad I couldn’t eat the cake. It looked yummy!

They also gave a choice of two styles of their shirt, which is nice. I picked the long sleeve thermal because it looked comfy. And the medal? They are huge! Aside from the Hot as Hell trail race, they have several other road races that I am putting on my calendar. Mostly because the medals and shirts are awesome.

What was your worse race and how did you get back at it?


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.