This past weekend I participated on the F’3 cap Saiers trail 10 mile race at Teason’s Woods in Palos Heights, IL located 30 minutes southwest from Chicago. These trails are well know for the swallow Cliff stairs by fitness enthusiasts and various gravel paths for mountain and gravel bike aficionados. This is the second year for this race which included a full marathon. The event attracted a small field of runners, it had that good old grass roots running community feel. We had beautiful spring weather on Sunday morning, with highs in the 50’s.
The marathoners started promptly at 730am. The marathon course is three parts: 2 circuits of the 10 mile course, and a final 10k out-and-back to the WEST aid station & back. Athletes run on the challenging hills on the Sag Valley Trail with 670 ft of elevation over the course of the 10 mile loop. That was definitely harder than I anticipated. Congratulations to all finisher especially the brave marathoners. Based on my calculations the marathon had almost 1500 ft of elevation.
The aid stations offered water, Gatorade, Clif Gel, Pickles, Gummi Bears and were available every 3 miles. The finish line and post run celebration had vegan chili, beer, and fruit. This was a unique, fun, well organized event. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting a new challenge.
The fun part of participating on independently-owned smaller races is the swag and medals. Every participant received a pair of American-made DeFeet Knee High socks, custom-designed for F^3 and a wooden medal at the finish. I love when race directors think outside of the box. As someone who has been running for over two decades and has hundreds of race T-shirts, socks are a welcome addition to my running wardrobe.