Without doubt, in 11 years of NATRA runs, this was the wettest, rainiest one ever. Many who did not show, wondered if the Saturday streak was alive since it is not often that a cold soaking rain occurs in January. Still, an intrepid crew of 10 appeared eager to take on the morning dreariness and mud, and of course no one more excited about running in water than Bob. It also did not go without notice that the women outnumbered the men on this miserably, wet, bone chilling morning.
With three runners under the weather, the NATWA contingent chose to explore the urban trail along the Rio De Flag while the runners headed up onto Observatory Mesa. With more than an inch of rain in the past 24 hours, the Rio De Flag flowed bank to bank under the new Thorpe Road Bridge. Water raged off side streets and funneled into the newly widened channel. Something so enchanting about running water in Flagstaff.
Towards the end of the walk, the discussion turned to the movie "Silver Linings Playbook". Sabrina mentioned how this run was a solid "5.0" out of 10. If you have not seen the movie, go see it, and you will understand why only a 5.0 rating is so magical.
(From Susan Blanchard's muddy run) "All I did was go to the top of the Observatory hill, turning around where it flattened too much and became a solid puddle. Shortly after starting up the hill, the others branched back to run on the streets for an hour where they could actually make progress, instead of sinking down several inches with each step. I was just glad that it would also mean traction for the downhill return. Timing was good for returning to the car at the same time as David and Sabrina. He and I drove to the KickStand, while Sabrina opted for more exercise. No one got so wet that they were shivering and most brought some dry spare clothing to wear in the coffee shop, so all went well for a sloppy day."
Next week NATRA takes a break to staff Aid Station 5 at the Sedona Marathon. If you are running in the race, good luck, and be prepared to get down and funky at just past Boynton Canyon Road!