Royal Race Report: Aine Chalmers on Run the Farm

What was your race experience like?

Despite it being a cold fall day (real feel in the 30’s), the race was a very fun and muddy experience. The race is just big enough to feel competitive without being too crowded or intense. The trails are beautifully maintained and well-marked. The send off (a call/response consisting of our duties to protect nature followed by “we run the farm” in unison) warmed this environmental engineer’s heart and was just a little off-beat, fitting for the bucolic venue.

I ran with Jessie and we decided to run a conservative race. We ended up behind a run/walk group and had some trouble maintaining our pace/passing people when the trails became single-file.

Overall it’s a great race to get out of the city and enjoy the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley. Prospect Park trails don’t cut it when you get a chance to breath in some fresh air and hear the changing leaves crunch beneath your feet!

Did you train for this race? If so, how?

I am coming off the Chicago Marathon so I was not specifically trained for the race. I haven’t really set foot in trails (beside hiking) since high school XC when I, now ironically, decided that a 5K was too far for my talents. Luckily the race is suitable for people of all skill levels and experience – seems like many experts and newbies were enjoying the race together.

Did you have any goals for this race? If so, what were they?

My goals for the race were to have fun with the CHRC royals, stay upright for as long as possible, and devour some fall treats when I finished. I’d say I was able to accomplish all these goals (although I did lose my footing a few times) and perhaps overdid it on the cider donuts.

Did CHRC help you train for/run/celebrate this race? If so, how?

First of all, shout out to the CHRC Saturday morning group who got me to a marathon PR without the dread/stress/doubt that usually comes with the long runs!! I suppose those hot summer miles count as training for this race.

Since “We Run the Farm” is in Westchester, the race logistics required some organization from one of our wonderful leaders, Kay. A large group of CHRC runners made our way to Katonah to run the farm and celebrate at a local apple orchard afterwards. It was great to have some spectators (kudos to standing out there in the cold) and fellow teammates cheering at the finish line. Thank you again to all the drivers and organizers who made it possible!

In my opinion, the best part was the celebration!! After leaving Muscoot Farms, we traveled nearby to Wilkens Orchard to visit their farm store and get some goodies. We also got the opportunity to pet an awesome dog and have a mini-photo shoot.

What was your favorite thing about the race?

Reworking this question… the most memorable part of the trip was getting stuck in the mud when trying to leave the farm. Warren (our gracious driver) was stuck in a huge muddy pit when we tried to reverse out. The ladies (Rebekah, Jessie, Brooke, and myself) attempted to push the car out of the mud, but our strength was no match for the rainy fall we’ve been having. The farm staff had to hitch a tractor to our car to pull us out of the pit. The farm staff was very helpful (and apparently photogenic) as they got us city folks literally out of the sticks and mud. Warren is about to leave us for the west coast and we gave a memorable final race to go out with a bang!

What was the biggest challenge about the race?

Trail running requires more attention to your surroundings and an altered running form. I almost feel a few times and was feeling a little sore the next morning but am eager to try out more trails!

Would you run it again?

Yes, and I hope to see more Royals out there next time, too!

What advice/tips would you give to Royals wanting to run this race?

Be prepared to get muddy and have a big smile on your face!