North Face Endurance Challenge recap

This was my third year running The North Face Endurance Challenge 10K. Last year I signed up for the half marathon, but switched to the 10K at packet pick-up due to a lot of anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. This year, under my husband’s recommendation, I signed up for the 10K. I struggled with changing to the half many times, but when I woke up to pouring rain on Sunday morning I was thankful I hadn’t.

I love this race so much, it never occurred to me to not run it in the rain. And the next day, when I was visiting Nesa and her new baby she mentioned that if she wasn’t pregnant, the rainy morning texts would have included a debate about running in the rain. Honestly, a full 36 hours after the race was when it occurred to me that I could have just stayed home.

So back to race morning, Darth Vader and I left the house around 7:45am and arrived at the starting line by 8:30am. He’s normally one for being at the starting line early, I’m the one who likes to show up at the last minute. This time, he’s like WHY ARE WE HERE SO EARLY??? And was all BECAUSE YOU LIKE TO BE EARLY FOR RACES. DUH.

Also, because the start/finish line of this race is just so awesome. There’s plenty of parking, a cook-out atmosphere, a supply of water, and coal heaters to keep warm. However, due to the rain, we sat in the car and debated if a friend should tell another friend that her outfit just isn’t working for her. The unofficial poll on twitter leaned towards no, only if she asked. As a guy, he just can’t wrap his head around that response.


He’s not really an outdoor runner, even though he’s bested my times at races for all of the 12 years that we’ve both been running (he’s been running since before I even knew him, I only started 12 years ago). I’ve been running outdoors a lot this summer, and have spent a great deal of time on the trails at Lapham Peak. Anyhow, even though I urged him to run ahead, he decided to stick with me for the race. This brought on some interesting conversation and some awesome race photos.


I know! BUNNY EARS!! And there’s more, like our fake fight on the course where we were pushing each other out of the photograph. Or when I decided WHAT THE HECK? LET’S KISS!


As part of the race packet we each got Smartwool socks. He wore his, I wore my CEP knee highs because that’s what I wear on the trails. Anyhow, we were around mile 3 when I asked him how his socks were. Now, Darth Vader can deadpan sarcasm like there’s no tomorrow. However, during the pouring rain I didn’t pick up on it when he said: THEY ARE AWESOME! Me: REALLY?? (very excited that he’s found awesome socks) Him: NO. (are you freaking ridiculous??) THEY ARE SOCKS! And that’s when I lost it on the trails and reached a high level of laughter.

What else happened? Well, there was some chafe issues. Damn you rain! CHAFE! I felt the need to explain my level of chafe by showing how I could gallop, and if I could just gallop to the finish line my chafe wouldn’t bother me anymore. Uh, I don’t recommend doing that. It caused a GI issue which meant that OMG I really needed a bathroom and we were miles away from one. Ugh.

Even though we were wet, muddy and I was chafed, I still love this race! I swear, I’m running the half marathon next year. I really am!

One comment

  1. I love your race recaps. And DAMN chaffing!


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