=PR= Race Series held their forth and final spring 2015 trail run this morning at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston.  It’s been a fun series that I’ve planned other events around so I wouldn’t miss any of the runs; and its timing couldn’t have been better as my MRTT team trains for Ragnar Appalachians in just two weeks.  Thank you, Potomac River Running, for hosting these runs!

Bill and I have been embracing trail running for a couple of years now, but mostly in southwestern Virginia.  For some of my teammates this has been a perfect introduction to trail running, and during the series I was introduced to a new trail – today’s.  The =PR= Race Series website explained their trail series program with these words:


The Trail series is perfect for runners of all levels.  If you are new to trail and just want to try it out, if you are an experienced trail-head or somewhere in between, this is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore our local trails.


All four events have been at different parks and were free of charge.  You can read my recaps from the other three races here:


I forgot to get our MRTT sign from our chapter co-leaders Erin and Amanda, or to set up a time for a multi-chapter meet-up prior to the run.  When Angela, Lupe, and I squeaked into the parking lot at 7:25 with just five minutes to spare, we didn’t even think of looking for ladies from other MRTT chapters.  It was a huge mistake, too, because my friends Allison from Life’s A Bowl and Kim from Kim Runs Miles With Smiles were there and we didn’t see each other.

As with the previous events, Terri from Potomac River Running gave us brief instructions on trail details, and then introduced us to a representative from their co-sponsor Sport and Spine. 


Terri asked who had made it to all four runs, checked to see who was familiar with the Lake Fairfax trails, and sent us on our way.


Erin, whom I’d met and run with at Burke Lake, joined Angela, Lupe, and me as we headed out…


… following the horseshoe trail markers.


About a mile or so into our run, we had to cross Route 7, a normally very busy highway, but at 7:45 on a Saturday morning there was hardly any traffic.


Trail conditions were actually quite good considering the amount of rain we’ve gotten this past week.  There were lots of muddy patches, but no mud-sucking-your-shoes-off sections we had to run through.


Our first creek crossing had these concrete poured stepping stones…


And we paused to take some pictures.


Back on the trail, we enjoyed lush greenery and relatively cool conditions…


Stopped for a cute picture…


And  came upon another creek crossing – this time with huge boulders.


We all posed for obligatory pictures…


And then promptly turned around on the other side at approximately four miles into our run – eight miles sounded about right for the day.


Back at the concrete stepping stones I took a few more pictures.


And tried to capture a few scenes on the run.


We paused to check out the poison ivy sign.  Erin, who is highly allergic, had been pointing out poison ivy along our way.


And she pointed out the poison ivy vines covering this tree – something I would have completely missed…


Yes, we even stopped to smell the flowers!


And take pictures of teeny tiny baby toads about the size of a TicTac, but I won’t tell you how we found them…


Photo courtesy of Erin


And a mama turtle digging a hole to lay eggs.


Egg Laying Mama Turtle


And here’s mama’s pretty face that Erin captured earlier in her run prior to our 7:30 start.  Yes, Erin arrived at 6:30 for a few miles before the group start.


Photo courtesy of Erin


After our run we were treated to the usual granola bars and water bottles, and today they added Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies for the win!


As I gathered my post-race goodies, someone came up to me and asked if I were Deb.  We follow each other on Twitter, and she recognized me from my blog.  Her name is Susan and it was great meeting her.  Not only is she a runner, but she’s a fellow Hokie, so how could we not get along great!


Keeping to my new trail running trend, I took the most amazing nap this afternoon.  Four trail runs in the series, and three post-run afternoon naps.  I could get used to this!


  • Questions:
  • Are you a trail warrior?
  • Have you eaten Otis Spunkmeyer cookies? ~ I’ve eaten them fresh out of the oven at a deli years ago.  Three words – Oh. My. Goodness!
  • Did you race today?