Warm sunny skies in Tuscaloosa greeted a big turn out for the Will May 5K and Trails for Tails 10K at Sokol Park on Saturday.

The annual fund raising event benefits the upkeep and improvements for the Will May Dog Park. Besides the run, the later 10AM start followed with an early lunch. Moe's Original Barbecue was on location freshly smoking barbecue for hungry finishers. Plus, a live band added to the festive atmosphere.

The event organized by Guy May of May Veterinary Clinic, along with his wife Beverly, and many other volunteers. Guy is an avid runner who has competed in the Boston Marathon. Needless to say, he smoked me in this race.

Participants had the option of the more traditional 5K road race, or take on the longer 10K distance on the scenic Sokol Park trails. Hey, I'm up for a challenge and something different, so I signed up for the trails.

Like many runners, I almost always run roads. I've gone on the Sokol trails once before, and it was a fairly short trail.

Sure, you really have to watch your footing on the dirt for stumps, rocks and holes. But, I had no idea about all of the hills. Not, just little slopes. I mean, let's climb a mountain for day kind of inclines. A photo in the gallery captures the feeling.

Then, wouldn't you know it, a snake wanted to add a new element of challenge. Sure enough, I came very close to this guy before coming to a dead stop. The confrontation was on. What to do. I just went for it, ran to the opposite side of his head and SPRINT! Go, go! Haha.

The race was very well organized and well done. But, I do have to say when the relief of crossing the finish came and there was no water, it was disappointment. Yeah, at first, I crossed and crashed for the grass for a moment. Then, getting up, where's the water? Apparently, the 5K'ers were really thirsty when they finished a little bit earlier. So I was told. However, there were drinks available up at the food area, including beer. So, the initial panic did fade.

Congrats to the finishers of both races!

Those trails are a workout. I recommend any runner to try it, just keep an eye on your feet and enjoy the quiet and peaceful scenery. A nice escape from the daily grind.

Here are a few photos I snapped from the day, and the 2 exaggerated photos to paint the picture of the trail run.

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