Monday, October 11, 2010

15th Annual Croom Fools Runs (John Holmes 16 Mile Run) (4/10/2010)

15th Annual Croom Fools Runs
15th Annual Croom Fools Runs (John Holmes 16 Mile Run)

FLASHBACK REPORT: 15th Annual Croom Fools Run (4/10/2010)

Don't Be A Fool And Miss It!
re You Fool Enough To Run It?

The Croom Fools Run is located near Brooksville, FL and takes place in the Withlacoochee State Forest.  This forest was named one of the “10 Coolest places in North America” by the World Wildlife Fund.  The course is described as “a wonderful course that is mostly a great single track running trail that winds through outstanding Florida terrain and most of the trail even has tree canopy to keep off the sun. If you have never run this race, you need to experience one of the great places to run trails in Florida (

Pretty Greenery

Race Review (Race Grade: A+)

The Croom Fools Run was the first REAL trail run I completed and I have to say it was awesome.  Of all the races I have done this is my favorite.  The race is a blast.  There is nothing bad I can say about this race.  It had it all and it was great fun.  I have already registered for the 2011 race!!

The available runs are the 50 Mile Fools Run, 50K I'm Not A Fool Run, and John Holmes 16 Mile Run. The main running trail is a 16 Mile loop. The 50 Mile race does 3 loops, the 50K does 2 loops, and the 16 Mile does 1 loop. The number of participants is limited to a total of 250 runners.  Of the 250 participants only 125 can be 16 mile racers. So you have to register early if you want to run in the race. The scenery is great.  Lots of wildlife, trees, shade, etc.

There were three water/grub stations along the 16 mile loop.  At these stations you found water, sports drinks, GUs, peanut butter sandwiches, Twizzlers, aspirins, cookies, M&Ms, etc.   They had everything you would ever want, were well stocked and the volunteers were great.  But this is a trail run so I suggest you bring a water bottle or camelback to fill up water so you have enough.
Endless tree forest

The actual race was held on the mountain biking trails.  This is truly a trail run and you need to give up the idea of PRing on this course. It is mostly a single trail so you do not have room to pass easily.  The beginning of the loop has some sugar sand.  There are many large hills, downed trees and obstacles during the race.  There are places where you have to walk to climb up and down the trail.  The course was difficult but not impossible for someone in good running condition.

Dirty Hairy Legs

Be prepared to get dirty.  You will not be doing anything crazy but there is dust, light mud, etc.  When I got done with the race my shoes needed a good cleaning and my socks were shot.  When I took my socks off there was a neat dirt ring that was clearly visible against my overly white legs.

Rough Climb

People ran in groups so they would have company and would not get lost.  The trail was well marked with plastic ribbons but you could still get off course if you were not paying attention. 

Blogger Healthy Ashley is in the green shirt

The end of the race party was incredible.  At the end of the race volunteers were grilling burgers, hot dogs, sausage and veggie burgers.  They also had homemade rice/beans, pasta salad, munchies, fruit, eclairs, cookies and cake.  It was quite the feast!!

My Results
Hot and Sweaty Me
Who cares!! It is a trail run.  No one cares about their times at a trail run.  It is all about having fun and enjoying the scenery.  It’s about running in groups and conversing with people you do not know. Example: At about mile 6 my knee started to hurt.  A 60 year old marine was nice enough to run with me for the rest of the race. He “carried” me along the whole rest of the run till around mile 14 where he started to get sick.  I then fed him water and sugar to get him back into running condition.  The marine would not let me down and now was my time to help him.  A good marine never leaves one behind. 

BTW - he was running 30 miles on a leg that was devastated by a 50 caliber bullet in Vietnam (friendly fire).  He was inspiring.

But if you are dying to know my results see below.

Click to Enlarge

Other Race Reviewers:
Healthy Ashley - Great pictures of the event.

A Marathon Is A Warmup

Funny stuff on the shirt "Run Forest Run!"

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