Quarry Crusher Race Series ~ Birmingham

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This series is the only group of organized races in the country which allow runners to run inside a operational rock quarry. They are sponsored by Vulcan Materials and currently there are six race locations: Atlanta, Birmingham, Columbia, Baltimore, San Diego and San Antonio. The inclines are brutal on the quads, the descents will grind the glutes while the spectacular views will almost make you forget the pain!

I stumbled upon this race while searching for a race for the hubs and I to run while on our anniversary trip to Birmingham, Al, as we usually try to find a race to participate in whenever and wherever we travel. This one sounded interesting, unique and challenging so I pulled the trigger on the registration not really knowing what I was getting us into …besides a big hole in the ground.

Packet Pickup:

Friday night at The Trak Shak or race morning. Since we were attending a concert Friday night, we opted to just pick up our packets race morning. This was easy and uneventful as this was a small race with around 300 participants. 20170422_073558 (1).jpg

Pre Race:

The parking was super easy and very well organized. There were plenty of porta-pottys on sight, a DJ playing some upbeat music and a few pieces of heavy machinery for all of those ‘manly men’ who wanted to get up close and personal. We had our obligatory pre-race photo made and ‘people watched’ {my personal favorite thing to do} until race time.

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I’ve never realized how big tires on a dump truck are!

I had no time goals for this race. I simply wanted to complete it without wiping out on the steep downhill descent to the quarry bed. My plan was to take in the scenery and snap photos along the way. The hubs, on the other hand, stated that his goal was to not get beat by this guy wearing pink camo leggings! 20170422_074605

Course:

Each race location offers two distance options, the single crusher (approx. 3.7 miles) and the double crusher (approx. 7.4 miles). You can expect anywhere from a 10 – 18% grade depending on the race location. For the Birmingham course, once we entered the quarry (.53 miles), we took an immediate right turn and literally began to climb straight up to the top of the quarry. (250 ft. climb over .61 miles)

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Heading up to the top…..before going down to the pit

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Major Hubs #19 on his way back down as I was approaching the top.

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This is a shot over my right shoulder as runners behind me crest the top of the hill leading to the top.

After reaching the top and stopping for a photo op of the bottom of the quarry…..

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You can see the beautiful water holes in the bottom of the quarry

We then headed back down, past the entrance point, all the way down to the pit. (707 ft. descent over 1.3 miles) That’s a fast and steep downhill!20170422_081839

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Once you reach the bottom, you loop around, grab some water and head back up to the exit point. (280 ft over 1.0 mile)

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After the last climb to the exit, you make a right turn for another slight hill then it’s a fast and flat sprint to the finish line. (.20 miles)Vulcan Materials 5K_20170422_0575

Yep, I passed her and she was about 25 years younger than this old lady! BAM

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Post Race:

Fun photo ops….

Finish Time:Screenshot_20170422-133616 (1)

Considering the fact that I had no time goals, stopped to take numerous photos and the crazy hills, I’m okay with my stats. While my pace is several minutes per mile slower than usual, my “middle of the pack” ranking is par for the course.

Oh and in case you were wondering …..Major Hubs finished long before the dude in the pink camo leggings!!

Pros:

  • Cost $40
  • Finisher’s Medal20170427_093746.gif
  • Challenging course
  • Exclusive views inside a rock quarry
  • Free race  photos (good, bad and the ugly)

Cons:

  • Minimal post race food (bananas and granola bars) ..but it was a short race
  • Water only for course hydration

Overall, this was a fun and challenging race which was very well organized. If you are up for quad/glute challenge and interested in seeing the guts of a working rock quarry, you should put this on your “fun” list. You won’t be disappointed!

I’m linking up with MarciaPatty and Erika for Tuesday’s on the Run and AnnmarieNicole, and Jenn for Wild Workout Wednesday. Be sure to stop by these fabulous ladies fun and inspirational health and fitness blogs!

xoxo,

Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty, one race at a time!

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18 thoughts on “Quarry Crusher Race Series ~ Birmingham

  1. Looks fun and pretty but oh those hills! Not a fan. Congrats on doing so well–and congrats to Major Hubs for finishing before Mr Pink Camo. Ewwwww….

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  2. That looks super challenging & I’d say you did a great job! My trail race was about 4 mm slower than my normal pace. 🙂 I think it’s only supposed to slow you down like 2 mm . . . but I also had no time goals.

    I love that you guys race together? Will Major hubs be racing in UT?

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