Saturday, I fed my trail running demon by participating in the inaugural Red Bull Trail Daze race, held in Palos Forest Preserve. I’ve run at Palos before, but this race gave me the opportunity to try out some trails I had not gotten to yet, on the northwest side. This race had a unique format, in that all racers started together and then, after a half mile, split onto one of 3 options. Three options: easy but long; medium but tricky, hard but short. Though my preference would have been stiff and long, I opted for the hard but short.
Simply a gorgeous day for a run, especially a trail run through the woods. It was 40 degrees Fahrenheit and windy at the start, which was cold, but perfect once I got warmed up. The course I opted for was 90% singletrack, which was great for running, not so good for racing. I spent some time trapped behind some slower runners, but it did keep me from going faster than I should. A group of us missed an unmarked turnoff (the marshal had wandered off) and ended up running an extra mile. I got to pass a bunch of people twice!
This was a really enjoyable race in a great location, and well-worth adding to the calendar for next year if they run it. Apart from a delayed start and the unmarked turn, this was also a decently run race from the race management perspective. No-frills but with good energy, this is a good addition to the trail race options here in the Chicagoland area.