A Running Glance:
Things I loved
- Fun, challenging course
- Cool theme, shirt & medal
- Amazing volunteers
- Deserving cause
Things I less than loved
- Too cold to hang out post-race
- Did I mention it was freezing?
When I chose The Great Scorpion Trail Run as my first official trail race, I picked a real doozy!! However, after completing the 25k, I feel properly indoctrinated into the subculture of trail runners. This race really had a lot to offer: serious trails, excellent volunteers, post-race grub, and nice medals! Read the rest of the RUNable Race Review for all the details and pics along the way!
My friend Rachael, unfortunately, couldn’t attend this event but was kind and gracious enough to transfer her entry to me literally the day before the run. She paid $65 to register approximately two months earlier. I admittedly have not run a lot of trails or trail races, but $65 seems like a reasonable price, in comparison to the average cost of the hundreds of “road events” I have done.
Check out this swag bag! The little bag itself is branded and reusable, plus it was chock-full of extras! The Great Scorpion Trail Run’s trademark scorpion (plastic-thank heavens!) is included in every packet, along with a nice patch, land lots of other goodies. The most notable of which were the HANDWARMERS. These came in pretty “handy” on race day because it was F-F-F-FREEZING! What a thoughtful touch. #ThingsIDidNotEvenKnowINeeded
I really like the shirt’s design and color. The scorpion logo is attractive and I like its placement in the center of the shirt. The material is a lightweight cotton/poly blend perfect for running or working out in. (*Please note – the shirt is a nice kelly green color, much closer to how it appears in the “group pic,” and not the neon green that it appears to be in the individual shots. Weird.)
The finish line had lots of room for tents and makeshift aid stations for those who wanted to set up right along the course. (We set up my tent but it was so bitterly cold that day we ended up hanging out inside our truck to wait on our 50k friends.) As you can see from these pics, they had plenty of delicious food available to all participants.
The medal was shaped like a scorpion with the name of the race, the distances available, and the city and state displayed as well. It’s a nice, quality piece I’m proud to have earned.
The individual age group awards were really neat too. They featured a metal scorpion affixed to a nice piece of wood and an engraved plaque with the name of the event, the category, and the date displayed.
These volunteers y’all! It was SO cold that day, I cannot imagine doing anything outside except running, haha. But bless their hearts, they were out there making sure we were all taken care of, had hydration and nutrition on course, and that we had race pics to share post-race. Thank you all!
This race is held annually at Bonita Lakes Park in Meridian, MS. I had never been to that area and was pleasantly surprised at how lovely the lake and trails are! If you ever have a chance, definitely take a walk, run or hike around Bonita Lake. My pictures really don’t do it justice.
Course Difficulty: LEVEL 4
WHOA. I think a “4” is the highest difficulty rating I’ve given a course to date. This (to me, “the newbie”) was a pretty technical trail with a lot of roots to avoid and hills to climb. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. The area is beautiful and I enjoyed the challenge. The course is a 7.78-mile loop that participants complete multiple times to reach their desired distance. (50Kers go around four times, 25Kers go around two times, and the 12.5Kers do one loop.)
The race website describes the course as “A great mix of Single Track and Jeep Trail. The Great Scorpion Trail Run will offer roots, rocks, and hills to challenge you, while the views through the trees of Bonita Lakes will make you smile. The final leg of the single track for the loop is the Mardi Gras Trail complete with Mardi Gras beads and a welcoming downhill.”
I find these course records so amazing that I have to share them:
Loop Record: Scorpion King & Queen
William Kazery 2021 51:03:61 (12.5K)
Meggan Franks 2019 1:03:05 (lap 1 25K)
50K Travis Grappo 2021 04:25:35
50K Rebecca Richmond 2019 5:50:38
25K Peter Kazrey 2021 1:44:41
25K Meggan Franks 2019 2:12:43
12.5K William Kazery 2021 51:03:61
12.5K Summer Riley 2021 1:12:21
As you can see, many of these records fell in 2021! It was an honor to share the trail with so many phenomenal athletes. Trail running ain’t no joke!
One aid station was positioned at a place known to locals as “5 Points.” If memory serves, we passed it the first time around mile 4, and then again within another 1-1.5 miles. There was an awesome set of ladies out there taking pics, filling up water bottles, and offering lies that we looked FABULOUS and to keep that sh!t up, lol. I kid, I kid. They were very kind, and a welcome sight every time I passed. THANK YOU!
One of the ladies at the aid station was named Patricia. Patricia and her husband David rode the course the day before and hung probably 50 or more signs for the trail runners. (Talk about commitment!) Many of these signs were specific to participants and friends. It was so cool, and a fun distraction throughout the race. These volunteers went above and beyond! You guys rock!
There was plenty of parking right at the start/finish line; Parking was extremely convenient and the race location was easy to find.
The race directors, Tim & Caroline Irvine, started this annual trail run as a fundraiser for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), and every year they donate the proceeds to this cause. Tim actually has Alopecia and uses running and racing as a way to raise awareness and give back. How cool is that!? I’d like to offer special CONGRATULATIONS to Tim & Caroline, who finally “tied the knot” on January 29, just a few weeks after the event! Wishing you two many, many happy years together!
I am so proud that the Great Scorpion Trail Run was my first official trail RACE! It was a really fun, organized event that I would (and probably will) run again. Registration for the 2022 Great Scorpion Trail Run opens March 1, 2021. If you’re interested in running it next time, get yourself registered before it sells out. Register now!