Race Report: April RAINN

On Saturday April 28, I participated in the 2nd annual April RAINN trail run.

This run is one of two events put on by Grunt Girl Racing that support women who have been through a sexual trauma. April RAINN gains its name via the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network along with the month of April since it has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Locally proceeds are donated to the Summit and Medina Rape Crisis Center. If you would like, you can read about my experience last year.

If I could change one thing about this race, I would have it earlier in the month, so people are aware during the whole month of awareness and can take part in additional campaigns to spread support.

I arrived at the Ledges Shelter with my Marathon Bars in hand. It was double duty day as I represented both Marathon Bars and the wonderful Grunt Girls. The bars were prepped in a basket and I set them on a table for all to see and enjoy.

While waiting for everyone to arrive I chatted with a few friends and stayed near the fire pit/grill. I was freezing, but I remembered last year when I overheated in the run and knew I was better off being cold at the start than being in pain while out on the trail. My arrival was planned well though, and soon enough I was out in a crowd of people waiting for the official “GO”.

From the start we travel down the road toward the trail entrance. The entire course is contained within the park, a double loop of the trail, with a add on at the end of running up and down the road and another small section of trail. Sounds much more complicated than it is in practice. On the first hill I decided not to over do it and used my slow steady constant steps. A few girls were passed by me and a few men massively blew by all of us. At the top some fellow GG’s were cheering and it put a pep in my step.

Flying over the rocks and through the trail I was surprised at how good, strong and confident I was feeling. After being told I could “go live a normal life” it lifted a huge mental block from my mind and shoulders, a block I did not even realize was holding me back. I ran without worry, I ran without my phone, I ran without slowing down, I ran without stopping to check my pulse. I simply RAN.

At the end of mile one I saw I had cleared about a 12 minute mile! As exciting as that may seem, I knew I was out way too fast and I needed to steady it out. Mile 2 was closer to 13 minutes, but I was already feeling the effects of my start. Side stitches and cramps along my abs (right where I imagine my lungs/bottom of my ribs in the front). I pushed through it though and it helped to see other friends and volunteers along the way cheering for me by name and saying things like “Looking good” “Nice footwork” The biggest boost of them all? I was captured on film! In my second loop I made it to the photographer again as he was packing up his stuff. I ALWAYS complain about being too slow and the picture people leave. I made the cut off!

When I reached the end I forced myself to never walk…to never give up. If people passed me I reminded myself this was my race not theirs and I was giving it my all. Without knowing it I gave myself the goal of coming in under 60 minutes for the 4.5 miles. Normally easy, a challenge for where I was at the moment.

Proudly I kicked it in and managed to shut off the Garmin at 56:35

Wanna know something funny? Last year my time was 56:35 too!  Last year I felt so good at this race, I felt it was a star performance. This year I label myself as “in recovery” and I performed equally? Again it makes me wonder where the rest of the year and beyond will take me.

Overall I placed 37 of 56 finishers. I won a raffle prize of a cupcake and had a blast with my trail friends. A darn good Saturday if ever there was one.

Oh and apparently the Marathon Bars went over well too….

Special thanks to Eric Gibb for use of his photos, along with my own.

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