When I found out that I would be in Atlanta for Christmas, the first thing I did was to look up what day the Yeti Spaghetti Trail Marathon was taking place. I found this "fat ass" run last year when I came for Christmas and knew I had to come back! My sister didn't want to get up early to drive me out to Douglasville, so I went out to the airport Saturday night and rented a car for the day just to make sure I could get there.
The Yeti Spaghetti is free, but all runners are asked to bring a few bottles of good craft beer and something for the aid station, so there was LOTS of great food and drinks out there!
This race is for everyone. The course is multiple loops of a little over 6 miles, but with all the rain and flooding the area experienced the last week, Race Director, Jason Green mapped out an alternate course consisting of loops a little over 4 miles. This is called a trail marathon, but runners can run as many loops as they want and let's be honest, the more loops you do, the harder it is for most folks to pass up the beer, food and fellowship. So very few people make it past "temptation station" for the full marathon.
The beer cooler was overflowing before the race.
The food table filled up fast too!
I made my way out to Douglasville (about 45 minutes from my sister's house) and got to the run just in time for the 8:00 AM start. I had just enough time to drop my offerings off at the food and beer tables before the race was started with the words "Get the f#ck out of here!" and we were off.
Getting ready to start!
The first 1/4 mile started on the road before we hit the trail-head. Some of these trails were created by Jason Green and the Yeti Trail Runners, so they are not easy, groomed trails. There are so many leaves on the ground now, it was hard to tell what was underneath. The mud did not make them any easier.
The thick mud made the course slippery.
The mud on the course was thick. I wore my gaiters, not really for the rocks, but more to keep my shoes on my feet in the mud and water crossings. Yep, even though the course changed, we still had a few creek crossings. If you do the Yeti Spaghetti, your feet will get wet!
Sweetwater Creek was much higher than last year!
Our first creek crossing!
Our second creek crossing.
Can you see the trail?
This area is so beautiful!
These trails were like a box of Cracker Jack. What surprises live underneath these leaves? Rocks? Roots? Mud? You will find out soon enough!
Yeah, I am sure we will be crossing this guy soon.
Yep. It was so hot and humid out the creek crossings felt really good and helped clean the caked up mud off our shoes.
I could not help but take in this beautiful scenery from the middle of the creek!
Heading down the trail. (Photo by Samantha Smith)
This climb got a little harder after every loop! Thank goodness it was not muddy. I don't think we would have gotten up it!
After the first loop, the party was already going!
On the third loop, I tripped and fell flat on my face and lost my sunglasses! I was covered in mud, but not hurt. After a few more trips, I made it through the third loop with my new friends Paul and Holly.
My new trail buddy Paul and I coming in after three loops!
The more loops we ran the muddier the trails seemed to get, so when we finished, I was pretty much covered in mud. Before hitting the party, I went back to my rental car and pulled out my Orange Mud Transition and Seat Wrap I got at the Route 66 marathon and changed into some dry clothes. That thing is great!
It's just a little mud!
Who's that Yeti?
Fellow punk rocker and Race Director, Jason Green and I. He does such a great job!
I had to take a pic of this sweet doggie! Her name is Gracie and she walked right up to me and just started snuggling me! I wanted to just scoop her up and take her home!
Thank you Jason Green for giving me the greatest running shirt EVER!!!! (If you are a Smiths fan, you will get it.)
If you are ever in the Atlanta area over Christmas, you owe it to yourself to check this race out. I have had the best time both years I have run. If you are in the area at other times, check out The Yeti Trail Runners and all of the other cool races Jason puts on. They look like a total blast!
Thanks Yeti Trail Runners for another FANTASTIC year!