On Sunday, Crazy Legs Race Series hosted its annual Yeti Trail Half Marathon in Westville, Indiana. The race began and ended at Bluhm County Park, easily located about 40 minutes from the Illinois State border.
This was a smaller, but extremely well-organized race. Race Director, Paul Stofko, was in constant communication with runners providing advice on the trail conditions, course, and race-day weather, which proved to be a challenge with 25-plus mph winds at start time.
The race began promptly at 8 a.m. with all runners starting on a road facing the park. Runners turned onto a tree lined field for a few tenths of a mile and were really blasted with a strong head wind; there were times I found myself leaning forward and barely moving as we battled the strong midwest winds.
Runners quickly entered the trail system and were relieved of the majority of the strong wind gusts. However, another challenge awaited as we sunk into muddy trails, highly technical landscape, and almost constant elevation changes, all of which the RD had provided forewarning of.
The course was a 4.4-ish mile loop which runners completed 3 times, passing by the single aid station, and our cars, on each loop. The course was well marked with several switchbacks, which meant you had fellow runners in your eyesight almost the entire time.
As a newbie to this race series, I reached out to Stofko to learn more about the Yeti Trail Half and all of the Crazy Legs races.
“This is the third year for the race and we have had some crazy weather for it,” stated Stofko, “The first year it was 60 degrees and last year we got 15 inches of snow a week before the race. The course contains a lot of switchbacks which makes your brain a little crazy as you can see other runners on the course but they may be 1/4 mile ahead or behind you. I try to bring a low key and fun atmosphere to all of the races I direct. There will not be a blow-up finish line arch or shining medals just a challenging course.”
This uniquely designed, and challenging, course, coupled with the great organization, easy and convenient parking, and fun atmosphere, make it a great race to add to your winter training season. All runners received a hat and gloves and homemade medal. Age group winners received a super cool Yeti trucker hat.
You can learn more about the other races in the Crazy Legs Race Series on their website – http://www.crazylegsraceseries.info/.
*Race results were not posted at the time this article was written.