Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
4
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
2
Asbury Woods is thrilled to present Into the Woods 5 Miler, a trail race that will Kick Your Asbury! Taking place on our 205 acres of preserved property, the race course will include a mix of boardwalks, packed dirt trails and single track loops. Enjoy the scenic wooded property through … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '20

    This is a lovely, not terribly technical trail race in Ashbury Woods in Erie PA which is about a 2.5 hour drive for me. I didn't want to wake up … MORE

    This is a lovely, not terribly technical trail race in Ashbury Woods in Erie PA which is about a 2.5 hour drive for me. I didn’t want to wake up super early so stayed in a hotel Friday night. Logistics were very easy. Packet pick-up, start and finish were at the Nature Center at Ashbury Woods. I thought production for this race was very good especially for a race not put on by a professional race company. It didn’t have all the super detailed, creative protocols of Yellow Jacket Racing and Millenium Running but had solid covid plan and felt safe. They started packet pick up 45 mins before the race. Along with bib, you got your swag. Swag was decent for a cheap low key trail race and swag bag included a set of runphones which look interesting, a small jar of maple syrup produced in Ashbury woods (yum), a granola bar (thank you), and also a can of beer which I have no idea what to do with since I don’t drink. I do wish though there was some swag specific to the race but not sure if there wasn’t just because this is 2020 and who knows if a race will really happen. Swag bag also included a disposable mask to wear at the start and there was a garbage can placed a little past the start line so it could be thrown out during the race. This is a smart idea that I hadn’t seen at other races. This year they switched to chip timing to allow for a more spaced out start which was also smart. Runners were instructed to run in waves of 50 that started every 2 mins. They capped registration at 150 runners so there were 3 waves. They were pretty loose with the waves. You were placed in a wave based on bib number but they let the faster runners go in the first wave to avoid as much passing and you could do a different wave to run with a friend, etc but for the most part everyone followed the waves. Start was in the parking lot of the nature center which was spacious and allowed everyone to spread out. You start out running out of the parking lot and then on a tiny downhill stretch of road to the trail. The trail was quite pretty and the perfect amount of technical for a beginner trail runner. The trail was wide and easy to follow but there were enough rocks and roots and leaves to add a bit of a challenge. At least the first 2.25 miles were pretty flat for a woody trail race with the occasional short hill and incline. There were also a few sections on boardwalk where you could pick up the pace. Trail was well-groomed with very little mud and was well marked with lots of volunteer helping to direct. Although there were a few parts that I thought could have been marked better. It would have been hard but not impossible to get lost. I was running a very good pace and thought I had a chance to even get a 5 mile PR but then there is this bridge which then leads to a large hill which I definitely didn’t bank enough energy for having assumed the rest of the race would continue to be as “flat” (again flat for a trail race). One production complaint I have is I do wish they had a map with elevation profile on the website so I could have strategized this hill better as while it was large it was runnable if you saved your energy. There was one other steep hill after that and the rest of the race was downhill or back to the not very hilly trail. The trail was quite pretty especially with the leaves changing color but didn’t seem any prettier than the other trails I have been running on this fall. There was also a water stop at the halfway point. Even if I did have to slow down and walk for the hill and didn’t get a 5 mile PR I was very, very happy with my time and had my fastest trail pace by a lot finishing a few minutes under an hour. I will call this a trail PR. And I was about 30 minutes faster than my last 5 mile trail race lol. At the finish line there were water bottles and they asked that you left right after to avoid congregating. Overall I thought this was a really nice race. It was the perfect race for a beginner trail runner. Techinical enough to be a true trail run but very runnable and nothing crazy technical (no climbing rocks, jumping over logs, mountains to climb or creek crossing). If you are an experienced trail runner it may not be as fun as the more technical stuff but would still be a nice, peaceful race. Trail shoes helped but road shoes would have been okay if you don’t have trail shoes. This race was originally planned for June but was moved to October for covid. I actually think the October date is better given the cool weather and leaves changing colors. It seems Ashbury Woods realized this and next year this race will be in June and there will also be a 6 miler in October along with a fun run in February that they have held before. I definitely enjoyed this race but Erie is a bit far but not crazy far for me to travel for a short race. However I will definitely consider doing this again or one of the other races in the trail series next year especially if there are still limited races and would definitely recommend for locals. Time to rest up and get ready for another trail race tomorrow which I have a feeling will be a bit more technical.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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