Monday, June 2, 2014

@ The James River Scramble 10k.

"Everyone's a winner."

James River Scramble 10k
May 17, 2014 
Brown's Island, RVA

A few weeks ago, I ran in the James River Scramble 10k at Brown's Island for the 3rd year in a row (if it ain't broke...). The Scramble is part of the incredible Dominion Riverrock outdoor festival held each spring on Brown's Island. If you live in Richmond and haven't made it to this awesome event, it totally belongs on your to-do list for 2015. Check out the Riverrock website HERE.

The 10k course starts on Tredegar Street and heads along the Canal Walk where runners can check out some ridiculously cool graffiti art before crossing the Mayo Island Bridge. From there, the course follows the flood wall, offering an unforgettable view of the RVA skyline, the James River and Brown's Island. After climbing up the "Mayan Ruins," (steep, rocky, muddy hill-stairs), runners head along Riverside Drive, drop onto Buttermilk Trail and wind through Belle Isle. The course hops along the suspended pedestrian bridge and ends with a sprint-finish towards the main Belle Isle Parking Area. 

Long story short: the course is perfect.

I love this race for many reasons; sweet single track, free beer, live music and loads of unexpected cheerleaders, to name a few. The "Air Dogs" are a nice touch for my kiddo, too. During most trail races, your only fans are the squirrels, your fellow trail junkies and maybe a couple of your favorite family members. During the 6.2-mile Scramble, plenty of volunteers, random spectators and cute little snakes dotted our path, offering high-fives and words of encouragement (the people, not the snakes).

Runners who compete in mostly road races are probably used to seeing lots of fans and supporters along their route. Trail racers are more likely accustomed to peeing in the woods in the middle of a race without worrying for a second that someone will see them (or care if they do). We may go for miles without spotting another person, wondering if we missed a turn somewhere along the way and are now en route to Tennessee.

Okay, maybe that's just some of us.

Anyway, what makes the Scramble so unique and fun is the combination of great trails, plenty of cheerleaders, loads of positive energy and a Rock-n-Roll band booming in the background. I look forward to this race each year, and each year I've had a groovy time. This year there were tons of people out on the trail and hanging at the river, enjoying the perfect weather and striking RVA views. They were all friendly, telling us "way to go," or "looking good!" One guy really stuck out to me. As we passed him and his friends (fishing poles in hand), he high-fived each one of us, smiling broadly and insisting, "Everyone's a winner. Ya'll are all winners."

You said it, Mister.

My Stats/Results
Time- 55:16
Pace- 8:54 min/mile
Overall Finish (women)- 66/407
Age Group Finish- 27/164

Hanging with my gal post-race. Next stop: the beer truck, DUH.