Today was the North Fork Bank 3 x 2 Trail Relay. This race is always a blast, but this year we had a snowstorm during the week. So it added an interesting twist to the run. I met up with a group from my club at 8am and we headed out to Bethpage State Park where the race was being held. The temp was about 23 degrees, so I had worn a few layers and brought extra clothes to change into after the race. We got there pretty early but I had to run around and coordinate number pick up and payment for the club members who weren't pre-registered. Ah, the pleasures of being runner's rep! After standing around for a while trying to hand out numbers to Striders as they arrived, my feet felt like little blocks of ice. I stripped out of my pants and one of my jackets and did a warm-up circuit with one of the ladies on my relay team and her father. I felt a little better, but now my feet hurt. It was like walking around on coals. I shoved the extra jacket into my bag and handed it off to one of the group that wasn't running and headed for the starting area. The start was in a field covered with about 5 inches of snow. When the gun went off and we started running I also found out that the snow had a hard crust on top. I was pretty tired in the first 100 feet until we hit the trees. In the tree cover the snow was a little lighter and had been packed down a bit by vehicles. But this meant the runners were mostly restricted to tracks about 4 inches wide. Passing was nearly impossible unless you wanted to plow through the unpacked snow, which I did in a few spots. This was the first race that I've ever run where I didn't really pay attention to how I was fairing in relation to the other runners. My eyes were focused on the ground a few feet in front of me, looking for the best route through the mess. At one point a runner in a big hoodie passed by me. I wasn't sure who it was, but I decided to catch up to him. It was Gerry, our prez, who had decided to run by me to try and get me mad. It didn't work, but I did run by him decisively. Take that! I was never so happy to finish a two mile run as I was when I saw the clearing where the hand off location was. I scanned the crowd as I came in, looking for Christina, who was running the second leg. Spotted her, grabbed her hand and wished her luck. After a few of our club members came in for their handoff, I headed over to the food area. A big attraction of this race is the food. They always have a big spread of baked goods and a supply of hot soups and hot chocolate. I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie and headed back to find my bag so I could take some photos. I hope you enjoy them.