Rain soused the landscape all yesterday morning and the threat of more storms pervaded the afternoon. My trail run was going to be wet any way you sliced it.
Hampton Hills was nearly deserted except for three cars, including my own. Another runner was limbering up as I got out of my car and walked over to the trail to begin my run.
The bottom land of the first third of the run is wet but firm. My feet, wearing Vibrams, glide over the small, rolling hills until the stairs break my momentum. The steep climb serves me a sweet taste of humble pie, as I slow to a walk near the summit of the hill. I turn to survey the trail behind me and vow to reach the top without walking next time.
I emerge from the woods to the meadow at the Top O' the World, the second third of the 3.2-mile Adam Run trail. Not 10 feet from this change in terrain do I encounter the first patch of mud, followed by a series of soggy pits that seemed to come every five yards. Rather than worry about skirting around the muddy obstacles, I charge through them and splash dirty water up and down my legs.
The other runner passes me going the opposite direction, and I hope I can beat him back to the parking lot, but I know my direction will be more difficult to keep pace. Shortly afterward, I pass the other person in the park, walking in my direction, trying not to drench the bottoms of his jeans, an exercise in futility.
The third third of my run returns me to the woods, crossing a more winding path than the previous sections. Unlike the first wooded area, there are no flats, only steep stairs going down and brief but challenging hills going back up, as the trail meanders back to the parking lot.
I crest the final hill, pumping my arms to maintain my momentum, hoping to finish strong and before the other runner. However, he is already walking to his car as I reach the end of the run. My calves feel like jelly. My Vibrams are caked in mud.