The Hillbilly Hike Half Marathon is a great point to point run up the Summerset Trail in Carlisle, Iowa. Under normal conditions this run would likely be BEAUTIFUL, almost entirely run on the trail. But, it was very cold on the morning of the run and we had a rain come through the night before. As a result, it was pretty much one solid piece of ice and it made the run treacherous and unpleasant.
From Hot to Cold – RAPIDLY
I flew into Des Moines, Iowa from Tampa, Florida connecting through Chicago. When I left Tampa, the weather was a sweltering 85 degrees and I had just spent an afternoon at the pool after my presentation at the CEO Conference. And, when I landed in Des Moines? Well, it was 35 degrees, a roughly 50 degree swing. Gotta’ love those arctic dips.
Fortunately I had packed somewhat intelligently and brough two sets of warm running clothes. My guess, I’m going to need them.
Only Wimps Use Hand Warmers
It’s not uncommon for me to give my wife a hard time about stuff. Just in general. Sorry dear. But, it is EXTREMELY likely I’ll give her a hard time about being cold, which she always seems to be. And, that historic (infamous?) day she bought hand warmers for the family, to go skiing even though it was 45 degrees and sunny, yup, I gave her grief.
Well, fast forward to Carlisle, Iowa on November 2nd, 2019 and there I was, happy as a CLAM to have the hand warmers. In fact, I was so happy that I took a picture to commemorate the day that I too kicked my pride to the curb and jammed those lovely, toasty hand warmers RIGHT in my mittens. Oh yeah, forgot to mention I had full on mitten/glove looking things too. Yup, no more complaining from me. I was still frozen from head to toe, but, not my hands. They were actually a bit sweaty (try to imagine the dumb and dumber scene). About mile 9 I decided to take them off and immediately regretted it. Sweaty vs. Frozen? Sweaty all day and twice on Saturday.
The race was a point to point, which I generally disapprove of because they add so much time to the day. But, this one was actually fun. The race was almost all on the Summerset Trail and under normal conditions would have been AMAZING. But, the course was frozen solid. As a result, every single step was a crap shoot. Will my foot hold or will it slip? And, every time it slipped I uttered a curse word as I was fully expecting to GO DOWN. For about half the race, I ran in the gravel, which was a challenge in its own right.
By the end of the run, the sun had risen high enough to warm the course and melt most of the ice. But, there was the occasional ice patch that I didn’t see and well, that was not super fun.
Generally I thought the race was really nice! The post race event was very well done despite my not wanting to eat biscuits and gravy. I didn’t even have the courage to try. See you Iowa!