Bacon before, during and after: On The Bacon Trail – The Naylor Mill 7K

Bacon was plentiful at the water/bacon stop during the On The Bacon Trail – The Naylor Mill 7K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I didn’t have the fastest time at the On The Bacon Trail – The Naylor Mill 7K, but I did have a delicious time.

Here I am with my pre-race bacon. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Sticking with the bacon theme, I had bacon before, during and after the race. I also wore a tank that said “I’m already planning what I’m going to eat after this.”

This was a race organized by my friend Trent, and plenty of my friends also took part in the race. There was tons of bacon — Trent’s wife Denise said close to 40 pounds — and it was a fun environment.

The course, however, was tough. The course was on the Naylor Mill trails, but I liked how it started out with some running around the baseball fields at the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex because the runners really had a chance to spread out. Even though I went faster during this section, everyone did, and I felt I was in a very appropriate spot, pace-wise, once we got to the trails.

There wasn’t much room for passing on the trails, and thankfully, I only passed a few people and got passed by I believe just one person, so it wasn’t clogged up.

Here’s my bacon race shirt and bib. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I was thankful the course was clearly marked in pink so that I didn’t get lost. I have run these trails, but it’s been a while, and I’ve always felt a little disoriented as to where I am back there. Sometimes I feel like I’m repeating sections, when I’m really not. I didn’t have any trouble with direction during this race.

I knew I wasn’t going to be too fast, but I still tried to keep up a good speed. The trails really slowed me down. I ran the first mile in 10:14, but that included a good amount around the baseball fields, where it wasn’t technical or single track trails. My time for the next mile was 13:34, the third mile was 14:41 and the fourth mile was 14:40. The last little part I ran in 4:21, according to my watch. My official time was 57:28, according to the results.

Packet pickup was held the evening before the race — the race was at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4 — at Smokin’ BBQ Grill in the Pavilion at 1400 South/Hopper’s. I got my T-shirt that had an image of bacon on it as well as the unique bib, which also had bacon on it.

Runners participate in the On The Bacon Trail – The Naylor Mill 7K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

This race didn’t cost much to participate in; I believe it was $12-something as a Pemberton Running Club member.

There are some steep up-and-down hills on the trails, even though my Garmin only logged 28 feet of elevation gain (I’m not sure how that’s possible). People’s watches did show up with varying distances because of the trails, but I had 4.37 miles on my watch and I believe it was supposed to be 4.35.

I was glad I brought my water bottle. Trent had warned everyone there would not be cups on the course, so I decided to carry a bottle. Even though I was holding it with a greasy hand and carrying my phone as well, I somehow managed not to fall during the race.

I was happy to take some bacon at the water stop and continued along, enjoying bacon at the end as well. I definitely walked up some hills, particularly in the second half of the race.

Here’s a view of part of the On The Bacon Trail – The Naylor Mill 7K course. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
Here I am with my mid-race bacon. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

At the end, there was a very short straightaway on the pavement before crossing the finish line. Many of the runners had already finished the course (I was finisher 45 of 65), so there were plenty of people already at the end — and plenty of bacon. I also enjoyed a pina colada popsicle-type treat.

I ran this course in my new Under Armour Horizon RTT trail shoes, which I am testing for BibRave (more on those later!). I did end up with a blister, but I’m not sure whether it was the shoes, my inserts in the shoes or the socks I was wearing. I also sprayed myself with bug spray and did not seem to have any problems with bugs. I also did not have any problems with spiderwebs, which a tall runner friend, Alex, mentioned he ran through.

I did go over various obstacles, as that’s where the arrows were, and knowing Trent, I figured he would want us to. (I also wasn’t going for any time goals.)

Although I did not earn one of the awards, there were some cool golden bacon frying pan prizes for the top finishers.

I’m always in support of food-related races and would totally run this again!

Here I am with my post-race bacon. (Josie Brown photo)

Splits (according to watch):

Mile 1: 10:14

Mile 2: 13:34

Mile 3: 14:41

Mile 4: 14:40

Last Part (.37 on watch): 4:21

Total time: 57:28 (official time)

There was so much bacon at this race! (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Check out my BibRave review here.

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