Let’s go back a little bit before I tell you what I did this weekend. My cousin is a brewer and works at Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company. So like a good family member who enjoys beer, I’m on the mailing list for the brewery. Well, to my surprise back in February, I saw that the Basecamp Brewpub in Nelson County, Virginia would be hosting a 5k the weekend after St Patrick’s Day – and it would be the “Reilly’s Red Run 5k” (this is where the connection is – his last name is Reilly, and his wife is a redhead, and so the Irish Red ale that he makes for the brewpub is called Reilly’s Red, and in my biased opinion is quite good). I quickly emailed my cousin’s wife, asked if she knew about it (she didn’t!), and then emailed the rest of the local family to let them know. How cool to have a 5k named after a family member(‘s beer)! So a small group of us made a plan to register and participate.
The Boy and I drove down on Friday night, got a hotel locally, and then woke up and headed to the Basecamp Brewpub. My cousin K and uncle B were there already, and we all registered, signed our waivers and picked up our goody bags, which included a gift card with enough value for 1 drink that could also be used towards food. We also got some super cool sunglasses, a sticker, a metal key chain bottle opener. and information on the Highland Games happening next month! As starting time approached, my brother Ben and his girlfriend Nicole showed up and everyone gathered at the starting “line”. It was a small group there for the race (around 50 or so?) and our merry band of 6 (Team Reilly, if you will) made up a decent proportion of that.
The race was…interesting. Not what I or The Boy was expecting at all. The only “track-like” portion was the small gravel path that we followed at the beginning of the race. After that we ran through uneven fields (when they say meadows, it doesn’t mean the field was perfectly flat underfoot!), through wooded areas, and up and down the hills, and around switchback turns that took you up higher or down the mountain. It looked (and felt!) like this. Nicole and I ran/walked/hiked a good portion of it together, and she would go on to finish a full minute (or two? no idea) ahead of me.
The trail was well marked through the woods. Places where you would be tempted to cut through were cordoned off with bright green or white plastic tape, and every few feet there were places on the ground that were spray painted green or white. The field areas were marked off with small green or white flags in a path, and places where you would cross the road were also well marked. Those who set the trail obviously had a good time doing so, taking all the runners up and down the hills, zigging us, then zagging. My usual 5k time on the flat-flat streets of DC (my usual race location) is under 40 minutes. Not particularly fast, but also not too shabby for someone who isn’t in fantastic shape. This day though…I can’t be sure because there was no official timer, but it was well above 50 minutes. Probably closer to the hour mark. I’m ok with this since I’m not used to trail-running, and the number of times I nearly tripped over my own feet was too many to count.
Thankfully, waiting for us at the end was a fire and a free beer. The blaze made up for the cool and overcast weather, and I like to think that the beer replaced electrolytes and rehydrated me. 😉
Soon after, my other aunt and uncle and one cousin showed up to greet the racers. We finished our beers out by the fire, and then went in for a tasty lunch at the Brewpub. Since the race ended just before the restaurant opened, we were able to get a big table for everyone. I had some amazing “drunken” mussels (cooked in a Weiss-beer), and got to taste some amazing brisket and delicious fish and chips. We also shared some giant pretzels with the yummiest cheese sauce…and that’s not just my grumbling belly from finishing the race talking.
The guy in charge of the race said that they’re hoping to continue the series, so if you’re interested in a fun day trip from DC to do a fun trail run in a lovely setting, I highly recommend it. Go to their website, add yourself to the email list, and get updates on the new and fun things happening.
Anyone else out there travel for the chance to run through the woods somewhere different? Been to an awesome brewery lately? Nearly fallen over their own feet while trail running? Or done one of those different 5ks, like a Color Run or something out of the ordinary?
Details: Devil’s Backbone Brewery, 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland, VA.
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