Your Silly Road Race 7:06.11

July 6th, 2011 in Articles by 0 Comments

The Faster Than Forty editorial team scours the nation for fun or funny road races we think you will enjoy. Rider University’s Paige McAtee presents this installment.

After racing the roads all summer, it’s great to mix things up on trails and soft-surfaces every so often.  Your  times may not be as fast and your uniform may not stay as clean as in a regular road race, but Laingsburg, Michigan’s The Legend is not a race for the soft, the uncoordinated, or for those who want to stay clean.

Why should you run this silly road race?

“The Legend is the perfect first-time trail race,” said race director Randy Step. “It’s not as difficult as many trail events and there’s no huge elevation change.”

The Legend takes place on Saturday Aug 6, at Sleepy Hollow State Park. There are three different length races to choose from: 5 miles, 10 miles, or a half marathon. Each race starts and ends at the beach, and the races start 15 minutes apart (The 5 mile race beings at 8:00 a.m.; the 10 mile at 8:15 a.m., and the half marathon at 8:30 a.m.)

Sleepy Hollow State Park has 2,600 acres of woods, prairie grassland, and a 410-acre lake called Lake Ovid. The park is a common place for people to hike, bike and camp. The race website even recommends participants in the races to consider camping at the park the night before.

“Sleepy Hollow State Park is only an hour and a half from the Detroit Metro area – closer than you might think,” said Step. “The course is all on single track wilderness trails. The first half mile is on the road, only to spread the runners out to hit the trail.”

The runners go around Lake Ovid as well as other, smaller lakes in the park. The race can get a bit dirty considering there are some muddy and wet areas, but getting dirty is half the fun. There are few short-steep hills as well, but none that are so long that they will bring about cardiac arrest.

“We expect about 700 participants,” predicted Step.

Last year, 111 men and 125 women finished the 5-mile race, and 234 men and 158 women completed the 10-mile race. This is the first year that The Legend will be holding a half marathon. All half-marathon finishers will receive a medal for their accomplishment.

Every runner receives a shirt, and possibly other prizes. There are awards for the top five participants in each age group (grouped in 5-year increments from 10-14 years to 60-65 years).

“Brooks trail shoes are given to the overall first-place man and woman,” said Step. “[Also,] The Legend is the 3rd race of the Serious Series – about 200 of the finishers will be running Legend as the final event and get additional awards at The Legend Series, finish line.”

The Serious Series Challenge is a three-race series that takes runners through South-Eastern Michigan trails in various parks. If participants finish all three races, they will be given a Serious Series Finishers Pint Glass. After the race, food such as bagels, bananas and muffins are served to the race finishers.

“Most runner’s finish with a jump in the lake, and many hang out at the beach,” said Step. Also, since many of the runners camp overnight in the park, they go back and celebrate at the campgrounds. “It’s back to the campground action for them,” said Step.

In the 5-mile race in 2010, the top male and female finishers were Clinton Lawhorne, in 31:42, and Erica Harrell, in 38:39. The men had an average time of 49:18, and the women averaged 55:30.

For the 10-mile race in 2010, the top male runner was Tyler Noble, in 56:25, and the top female runner was Katie Opdycke who finished with a time of 1:09:58. The average times were 1:27:32 for the men and 1:40:52 for the women.

Before August 4th, race admission for the 5-miler is $24 Race weekend registration (August 5th and August 6th) is $30. Early registration for the 10-mile race is $29 and weekend registration is $35. Pre race registration for the half-marathon is $34, and weekend registration is $35.

“A portion of the race fee is donated to the park, designated for trail maintenance,” said Step.

So run The Legend to have fun, to get a little dirty, and to run on some easy trails.

Have a suggestion for the “Your Silly Road Race” column? Drop us a note here.

Paige McAtee is a sophomore journalism major at Rider University. She competes in cross country and distance events.

Author: FasterThanForty

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