You could say my relationship with trail running is “complicated”.
It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I enjoy trail running. Viewing it as a new challenge certainly helps. My friends help more…
In typical “Sarah-fashion” I signed up because my friends did.
I signed up, why should you?
You should sign up if you like a challenge, especially if you like trail running, and if you like well executed events.
The where, who, when, how much details
The Legend is held at Sleepy Hollow State Park, in Laingsburg, MI the first Saturday of August. Prices range anywhere from $34 to $60, depending on how early you sign up, and for which event. I did the early bird pricing and paid $39 for the 10 miler.
Sleepy Hollow is a State Park, so you need a Recreation Passport, or you need to purchase one the morning of the race. I have a Passport, so I’m not super familiar with this process but there is a booth near the park entrance where you can either make this transaction or be directed to where you can do so.
Sleepy Hollow is literally in my backyard from where I grew up, so it holds a special place in my cold black heart. That being said the trails are pretty tactical, it’s a mix of dirt, grass, and a few areas where you run on pavement. Sleepy Hollow has 2600 acres of land that’s comprised of grass, as well as forest, and Lake Ovid. You don’t run through the lake, but you run around it. It also serves as a pretty good benchmark for your progress.
It’s honestly so beautiful but don’t look around too much, because you may trip over a tree root.
The distances offered are a 5 mile, 10 mile, and half marathon.
Each distance is very well marked, and color coded for the specific distances, blue for the half, yellow for the 10, and purple/pink for the 5 mile. The trail terrains vary from soft prairie grass and dirt, to softer dirt. There are some hills, some of which are quite steep, but I wouldn’t go as far to say the course is “hilly”.
There were four aid stations for the 10 mile, and one more for the Half. One thing that I thought was VERY cool was this is a zero waste race, so all of the aid stations had a lot of recycling/trash containers and everyone was encouraged to use them and not discard any gels are wrappers on the course. I love this concept, and what I also loved is that it seems like all of the runners did too, because I didn’t see random wrappers or cups on the course.
Packet Pick up
Packet pick up can be done Friday evening before the race, and early Saturday morning before the race at the start line. The start line is right by the showers/changing area. If you don’t want to drive out Friday night you can easily do it Saturday morning. There is plenty of parking right in the beach lot, and its overflow lot.
Awards are given up to 5 deep in the age group. They had Gatorade, water, bagels, bananas and peanut butter available for runners afterwards. They were also very timely with the awards ceremony as well as the start. If you’re an overall winner you get free entrance into next years race. You also get a really neat finisher medal; and a nice tech shirt.
Personally I was happy with how I ran. It did get hot by the end of the race, but that is not something the race directors can control. Overall it was a great event, and schedule allowing I’ll absolutely do it again. Shout out to my fellow Mid-Michigan runners for cleaning up in the awards ceremony, and all around great running!