22 April 2017
21 miles complete
The inaugural Enchanted Forest Ultra fell on a rather cool and gloomy April day (perfect for running), but signs of spring made it a perfect backdrop for celebrating Earth Day. (Many runners wore costumes, in keeping with a Sherwood Forest theme.)
The six-hour event was staged in Stratford’s Roosevelt Forest and capped at just 57 runners. The field was big enough to make the 3.1-mile loop seem small, but not so large that crowding was an issue. There had been rain in the area, so there were some muddy stretches; board bridges over large puddles were slick. However, the trails were largely groomed and overwhelmingly runnable. There were a couple of modest hills, but nothing difficult.
I manged to keep moving for the full six hours, but did not reach ultra distance, having come off two weeks of travel and another two weeks of illness. Coughing and congestion don’t make for good running, but I actually felt a lot better after spending a few hours in fresh air and a day in the woods is good for you no matter what ails you.
I will likely put this on my yearly schedule. I thought it was a good way to kick off the running season and the race direction was top notch. The RD, Lou Loban, is the nicest guy you could meet, the course was easy to follow, the aid stations well-stocked, and the volunteers friendly. I also saw some old running pals and met some really nice runners that I hope to get to know better.