Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
3
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
2
The Campgaw Fall Series #3 features a 5K, 10K, and 13.1M Trail Race. The course will use marked trails in the reservation. The 5K will do a single loop. The 10K will do the 5K loop twice. The 13.1M will use the 5k loop with an additional 1.2M extension. They … MORE
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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '20

    So this is my birthday weekend and I initially took Friday off to take a trip for a half marathon hoping things would be better and travel restrictions lessened but … MORE

    So this is my birthday weekend and I initially took Friday off to take a trip for a half marathon hoping things would be better and travel restrictions lessened but we all know how 2020 went so I had to settle for a trip to New Jersey. This race was produced by the NJ Trail Series who hosts a bunch of low key trail races throughout the year in NJ. This year they changed the location of their usual fall race series to this location at the Campgaw ski resort. I was told this race was all on trails and not on the ski area so I was hoping it wouldn’t be as brutal as Battle at Bristol Mountain. Luckily it wasn’t quite that brutal but this was definitely the next hardest race I’ve done and the hardest race I’ve completed (yes it was harder than a road marathon). Pre-race communication was fine but there was not a super detailed plan. For the half marathon they said to arrive between 8 and 8:30 for packet pickup and the race would start at 9am with small groups sent off “based on quorum.” Packet pickup included your timing chip. It was not a bib but an old school ankle bracelet timer. Never seen that before but it seemed to work well as results were posted right after the race. You also got a piece of swag. There were a few things to choose from that weren’t race specific but had the NJ Trail Series logo on it. I chose some socks because it was rainy and I knew my feet would be cold and wet after the race which was a good call. The start of the race was very laid back and you just kind of went when you felt like it generally but not always in groups every 10 to 15 minutes. At about 8:25 the RD said if you want to start at 8:30 line up. I wish I knew I could start at 8:30 earlier as I wasn’t quite ready then but left with the next group around 8:45. I get why some people would like this laid back approach and it definitely seemed to work but the type A in me preferred the detailed startline protocols of Yellow Jacket Racing and Millenium Running. The race was set up so 5Kers did one 3.1 mile loop, 10Kers did two 3.1 loops and half marathoners did 3 of the 3.1 mile loops + a 1.2 mile off shoot. The course was much more brutal than advertised. The 3.1 loop wasn’t too bad and the first mile was pretty flat and then there was some gradual but mostly runnable uphill to the top of the mountain. It was advertised at 350 ft elevation per loop which didn’t sound too awful for a trail race. The misleading part was the 1.2 mile off shoot had the same elevation gain in half the distance and was really tough and technical. I was not the only one surprised by the difficulty. At the part where the half marathoners split two other runners running my pace stopped and spent some time deciding whether to go through with the half or switch to a shorter distance (they weren’t as stubborn as me and did not complete the half). Also the rain last night made this a very tough race and added some mud and a few unintentional stream crossings. Very glad I chose the socks! At the end of the loop you go through the parking lot and there is an aid station. Great aid station for a non-ultra race with granola bars and muffins and candy including my two favorite race candies twizzlers and Swedish fish. After fueling up, I was not really looking forward to doing the loop two more times but I decided to power through and finish it. While it was tough, the trail was very beautiful. One of the prettiest trail races I’ve done and if its this pretty in December I’m sure it is absolutely gorgeous in October. The highlight of the race was definitely having a family of deer run past me. The trail was very well marked and easy to follow. However I was annoyed that on my last lap they had taken some of the trail markers down already. Luckily I already “ran” the course twice so knew where to go (I put “ran” in quotes since I probably hiked more than ran in this race). However I was happy they kept the finish line open for me and the RD did apologize about the trail markers as soon as I came back to the finish area. At the finish area there were still some treats remaining at the aid station and there was non- alcoholic beer from Athletic Brewing Co. This is one of those low key trail races with no medal. Which is disappointing since I am hoping to run a half or full marathon in every state so would like a medal from New Jersey. However I will probably run another half in NJ before I finish all 50 states and if not I guess I can display the socks. My time was terribly slow and nearly twice my half marathon PR time. I almost didn’t want to post it but I do think it is helpful to show how brutal this was. My Garmin actually showed 2500 feet of elevation gain total. I wish the race better advertised how hard it was. I wasn’t expecting an easy race but I though it would be a similar difficulty to Zion at Night or Unlimited Breadsticks but this was much harder. If I knew how hard it was I would have chosen the 10K but I guess I’m glad I can check off NJ. I didn’t really think this was the event for me and I’m not sure I’d do another one of these races but everyone involved was very nice and I could understand how someone looking for a challenge who doesn’t care about PR or swag would really enjoy this.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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  2. Campgaw Fall Series Race #3