Sunday June 10, 2012 I completed my 6th run in Slavic Village. From 2007 to 2011 this race was known as Morgana Run! This year the name shifted to the Pierogi Dash and they are considering it a new race apparently, although it uses the same course. I suppose this means I ran each and every one of the Morganas…the end of an era? No, instead it’s an improvement on something already wonderful.
The Morgana trail race is one of my top 3 5Ks and probably actually my favorite. One of the reasons I’ve always loved it so much is because not too many people attend and I take home hardware. What? Honesty. Other reasons are all the following:
When this race started the neighborhood was, let’s just say, less than appealing. Certainly not somewhere I would run alone. In the announcement’s from 2012’s race, they acknowledge the changes. They mentioned how the main road we start on, almost seemed like the epicenter of the housing crisis. Fifth Third bank sits along Aetna Rd and is the main supporter of the event. As acknowledged, they also helped save the neighborhood. Six years later, it simply isn’t the same place.
Once again I did not remember to take Garmin or my Ipod, but this is OK, because I was able to really take in my surroundings. After all these years, how much have I really seen?
The roads and houses are improved. The people are happier. The trees are fuller? On a similar note, the freshly paved bike path is nothing more than a faded grey/brown color, but the summer sun still bore down on all of our exposed bodies. Training on trails a majority of the time has spoiled me. In the woods the temperature is MUCH cooler and the sun is not direct once all the leaves fill in. Training for longer distances as spoiled me in a way too, because we start earlier and earlier means not as warm. The Pierogi Dash starts at 900am and is completely exposed, there is maybe a cubic foot of collective “shade” the whole route, if you time it properly.
Here is where my one complaint lies. Why is there only one water stop? When you get the OK for a race, do you have to specify the location and amount of water stations? With temps nearing 90 degrees, and no shade, there really needs to be more than one station at the half way mark. IMHO.
Back to happy things…the shirts we were given are phenomenal! I love the color, I love the image. Note the picture looks blue, but the shirts are more teal, like the logo posted above. Sure, it’s nothing I could wear to work…but neither are any t-shirts I own. This is a shirt I can wear around town and just feel happy seeing the smiling, running pierogi!
How DOES the course work? Well, you start on a main road and travel just over a mile. No major hills or traffic or anything to speak of, just sites of houses and businesses as you approach the ramps for the highway. Before the highway you turn right down another residential area. This road features houses to the right and grass/fence/highway to your left. Then another right onto the Morgana Trail bike/hike path. The trail is paved and this is the one water station. Down a small hill and as you go under a overpass you reach mile 2.
Across the main street, and back onto the bike/hike path until you turn to run down a final residential road, which is actually the road you started on! Pass the guy calling times for mile 3 and dart into the finish chute! You’re done!
Mile splits (per the call outs)
- mile 1: 9:00
- mile 2: 19:30
- mile 3: 32:47
- finish 32:58
I felt AMAZING at the start. Running a perfect race. Nothing hurt, nothing annoyed me. I was at peace with the world. When I heard the 9minute mile one I was very pleased. Somewhere along the road toward the bike path though I started to feel faint. I kept pushing and drank as much water as I could without making myself sick. Several of us played run/walk leapfrog while moaning about the heat. By the time I made to the second half of the bike path I was walking and thinking I would pass out. Part of me was feeling chills and I swear if I wasn’t wearing sunglasses I would have been seeing spots.
Slowly I made myself run. I focused all my energy on counting and distracting myself and feeling the rhythm of my body. At long last I made it to the final stretch and could hear them calling mile 3 times. Mysteriously I did find a final kick, but then wondered around dry heaving until I settled in my car with the A/C until I felt human enough to walk back to the festivities. In the end, I may not have PR’ed, I may not have placed, but dang-it if I didn’t give it everything I had that morning.
Before and after the race there is a man playing live polka music. I don’t know about anyone else, but it is impossible for me to be in a bad mood when I hear polka music.
At the end of the race, people lined up for their free food and water. You would too if you have tasted these HUGE and wonderful pierogis!
Won’t you think about joining me next year? Lucky #7