When Crutch, Don, and I ran the loop last Saturday, I KNEW I could do this successfully once, not twice. OK I could do it twice; I wouldn't enjoy the second loop. Enjoyment = success (in this case).
I had one goal, to beat the time (elapsed to compare apples to apples) we ran this last week. Time to beat: 1:47:21. I crossed the finish in 1:34:23 per my space watch, goal met. Official results 1:32:00 for me and the boys were 1:34 (huh... we all crossed at the same time. Guess girls get a 2 minute handicap?) here.
This past weekend was my one year anniversary of the MCM debacle, I really needed a success to round out the end of a year really trying to focus on racing as racing and running as running and improving as a runner and whining and bitching less.
I eMailed the RD and dropped to the 10K.
Don signed up and then convinced Steve to join and he convinced Dave to join. They were all for running with me. Sure... They will be off and gone before the second hill. I promised if they stuck around I'd try not to bitch too much. They also promised to not whine too much. Deal!
We all met up at the start. Crutch, running the 50K (5 laps of hell) was a bit late. He looked a little worse for wear, however keeping his usual smile and ever positive demeanor. Faith holding true to the 20K she signed up for. Crazy, and she ran the course a month earlier!!
We all lined up and the gun went off and we were off. Running, of course, and then the trail narrowed and the walking happened. Eventually the heard got to the first endless climb.
|Photo Credit: Trail 2 Trail Series - and the stairs never seemed to end until the ledge happened|
|Elevation Profile - 1000 gain highest 437|
Not quite a mile into the course there is a hard right, because going straight will put you on the return course. Being a person who, occasionally, gets lost in a circle I did check the website for how the trail was marked. It was stated orange flags were to the left unless there was a turn to the right then it would be flagged AND marked with ribbon.
I also remembered this turn from running the course with Crutch and Don last week.
Woah, there was a right turn everyone (including Dave, Don, and Steve) ahead was missing; I shouted they were off course. Bombed down the hill, I’m starting to get more comfortable picking the pace up downhill, and on to a fire road. Ahhhh, a nice break. There was a gal hot on my heels, and staying there. We chatted, exchanged names and waited for the boys to catch up. This was Holly’s first trail race. She picked a dilly.
Remembering there was a sharp left off the fire road taking us back to single track, I kept an eye out for the orange flag. So thankful for the run the weekend before giving me some semblance of bearings on the course. I shouted to the boys who had left Holly and I in the dust, LEFT.
Entering mile 3, it was nice to be back on the single track, and yes, it was up hill, time to power hike!!! Holly intermingled with the pack for a while and eventually dropped back on a steeper decent.
The rest of the run was fairly uneventful. Climbing up hills and running down hills, scaling some rocks in a few places, and keeping a careful eye out for slippery spots! I learned to say “I’m OK” (just like my Nephew) when I would slip or nearly trip or yell oops. Just call me grace! Fortunately I did not actually fall, it’s been a while I’m sure there will be one soon. Dave took a digger in the first mile and Steve in the last mile. Don won't fess up to any diggers!!
|The Four Amigos|
Beth Don Steve Dave
The course is beautiful, despite the unending climbs there are very runnable parts we gained some speed on. The boys stuck to their word and didn’t leave me behind. We all took turns leading the pack and that was fun.
Would I run this again? Yes. It was a beautiful place to run and the Trail 2 Trail folks put on a nice event. The best part was running with friends in a beautiful place.
Beth with big thanks to Suzan, Susan, and Denise let me run around in the woods with their husbands!!!