From the Endeavor Racing website: “Opened in 1938, Hillsborough River State Park is one of Florida’s first state parks; this original Civilian Conservation Corps park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River with a set of Class II rapids. The River-N-Rapids 10K will have participants running along the high banks of the river above the rapids, through a variety of habitats, past some huge oak trees and over the historic CCC suspension bridge. The River-N-Rapids Fun Run will take participants approximately two miles on the parks Rapids Trail–scenic incentive to get your body moving! ”
The River N Rapids 10K was this past Saturday at Hillsborough River State Park. A small group of us from the Trinity Trail Runners met to run this race for the first time! I had never been to this park before, so I did not know what to expect. The race was well organized, and the course was well marked. The post race breakfast was a nice bonus too 🙂
Our Trinity Trail Runner group lined up together, then Sean and I teamed up as the race got started. It started down the main park road for about 1/4 mile, which was a good way to thin out the starting pack before hitting the trails. Then the route took a few turns to get onto the main trail, the first loop was routed on the Florida Trail. Here the path was mostly single track, under a thick oak canopy that had lots of roots and terrain changes. This was a fun path! We settled in behind a line of runners and enjoyed the first part of this race. The path looped along the river on high banks, and due to some recent rains, we had several large patches of squelchy mud. Sean and I were prepared for this, because we had seen the photo that the race director had posted on the facebook page the day before: We had a pretty good time tearing through that mud in our Vibrams! After getting through most of the muddy sections, the trail came back to the start of the Florida Trail and connected to the next loop on the Baynard Trail. At this point we were more than halfway through, had settled into a good pace, and cruised the next mile on this easier section of trail. The scenery was great, overlooking the Hillsborough River, winding through the oaks, and crossing over a few boardwalks. We finally came around to the star of the trail, the CCC Suspension Bridge, constructed in the 1930’s and A LOT of fun to run across! Once over the bridge, we had a little over a mile left, and a bit left in our tanks too, so we picked up the pace to make our way to the finish. We crossed the finish in 54:49 which put us in the top 20 finishers! (I also received an additional award for 1st in my age group!)
We found the rest of our group from the Trinity Trail Runners, and all of us agreed that it was a really fun race and a beautiful course. I would definitely run this race again, it was well done and the route consisted of some really fun trail running!