The Claw Run 10 Miles

If the horrible 8-miler I did the week before The Claw Run was an indicator of my finish time for the 10-mile race, I would have guessed a three-hour, sluggish, slow, and painful finish time. Praise God that wasn't the case and my time was a respectable two hours and nine minutes.

Luckily, the adventure run took my fears away as soon as the horn sounded. My cousin, Alyssa, and I took off through the woods on a shaded path behind my hubby and Hea's boyfriend, Mike. They got ahead of us pretty quickly, but Alyssa stayed with me the whole time.

The sad part was the fact that Hea of Team Hea and Bria had a knee injury and couldn't race with us. She was a trooper and still came to cheer. Two other friends, Robert and Russ, ran the 5 miles and did great. Robert was kind enough to drive us again this year.

Alyssa and I raced through forest trails, open fields, up and down "hills" (hey, it's Florida and they felt like hills), through ravines, palm tree gardens, two creeks, and one waist-deep river. We ran every moment that we possibly could. Where the narrow paths bottlenecked people into single-file, forcing us to walk, I got to catch my breath. Everything about Alafia State Park pleased us: the sights, the smells, the pleasant weather (NOT 90 degrees as forecast, PTL), even the dip in the river which cooled us off.

We enjoyed every bit of this race, but also had our favorite moments. At one point, an incline brought us atop a mile and a half berm where we could look down at the beautiful scenery. Not something you get to do much in Florida. For some reason, we loved the fact that they had us race down the side of the berm and back up again about four times. Most people around us walked the hike back up, but we kept running. At the top, we slowed to catch our breath, but still ran. Eventually, we reached the end of the plateau and had to slide down a steep bank on our butts. At that point we went through the vine-covered ravine, up another steep bank and slid on our butts back down the other side. Hubby's favorite moment was next: a wheat-like field (not sure what the tall, yellow grass was actually called). It reminded him of the moment in Gladiator where Russell Crowe grazes his hands over the fields of Elysium.

Bria and Alyssa finish The Claw Run 10 miles together! Photos by Hea Maddux
  It's so funny how pictures show us reality. In my brain, I was gliding to the finish without touching the ground. Apparently, I was clamoring to keep myself straight on the path. Granted, the last mile was the most difficult and tiring, so I'm working hard to pick up speed here at the end. Alyssa encouraged me throughout, and I'm so blessed that she came to run with me.

Hea, Mike, Robert, Lyssi, hubby, me and Russ
 Here we are afterward. Everyone did awesome and we had such a blast. I'm so glad Hea came to cheer even though she was injured. I have her to thank for the pics!

If anyone wants to run this race with us, we're going to be doing it every year from now until forever. We love it that much.


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. No wonder you want to do it annually.

  2. This is the kind of race that makes me enjoy running. I hope they have something like it where you live, Char. If so, I highly recommend doing one


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