Saturday, February 11, 2017

Race Report - 2017 Black Warrior 50K

Coming into AS#2 early on in the race.

The Black Warrior 50K is a low key trail race (and that's a good thing) about 75 minutes from my house at beautiful Bankhead National Forest near Moulton, Alabama. Folks will tell you that it's a flat and fast course, but I disagree. It's always rolling (even though there aren't any serious climbs) and the terrain can be difficult depending on weather conditions. The race is run on horseback riding trails. One year, it rained for a couple of weeks prior to the race followed by a sudden freeze, turning the entire trail into terrain that was covered with frozen potholes and postholes from the horse tracks, making turned ankles extremely likely. This year, thankfully the trails were mostly dry, but it was a rather balmy day making hydration a priority to avoid muscle cramping.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Race Report - 2017 Mountain Mist 50K

Still mile 1.
Once a year, Huntsville hosts not only the state's oldest and largest, but in my opinion also the most technically challenging ultra marathon in the Southeast. Yes, Mount Cheaha 50K has more elevation gain and yes, Stump Jump and Georgia Jewel have a "rock garden", but mile for mile, the Mist has them beat when it comes to gnarly technical terrain for almost the entire 31 miles except maybe the first 3 miles. Am I biased, hell yeah! This race is literally in my backyard and by that I mean it is less than a mile behind my house (as the crow flies) and I have run it a total of 7 times with my streak only broken for one year in 2013, when I had to take a year off due to a bit of an injury and a health scare. Alas, i have to run 3 more times to earn that coveted black jacket for finishing 10 editions of the Mountain Mist. It's our local version of the PGA's green jacket and I dare say it means more to most local ultra runners than that as well. That is to say, Mountain Mist is more than just another ultra. This race has more multi time finishers than any other race I've ever participated in. Folks keep coming back from near and far, year after year, to reconnect with friends and to toe the starting line and cross the finish line one more time, again and again.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Race Report - 2016 JFK 50 Mile

Sharing some miles with trail runner extraordinaire and team mate Dink Taylor.
After my DNF at Pinhoti, I had gone back and forth about running this race this year. While my hip injury had disappeared as fast as it had appeared during the race, I really wasn't trained to race JFK. My body still felt tired and I knew it would be a bad idea to toe the line, but I was going to travel to Maryland anyway, since my wife was running her first JFK and we had a whole Fleet Feet team going, so I figured I might as well slug it out for my third consecutive JFK finish. After all, it was already paid for:-)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Pinhoti 100 Mile Endurance Run (DNF)

It took me quite some time to even get started on deciding whether I wanted to write this one.After all, I'm probably the only one that has accumulated 3 (three), yes 3 DNFs at the Pinhoti 100. Granted, I also had my best ever 100 mile race performance there in 2014, but those finishes usually only ever last until the next race, at least for me.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Wade Mountain Trail Marathon

Top 4 runners at Wade Mountain Trail Marathon.
The inaugural Wade Mountain Trail Marathon was a success for me. It was meant as my final long run before starting my Pinhoti taper. I knew I wanted to run a relaxed pace, but I also knew that I was willing and able to push towards the end, if there was any change of doing well, since I was headed into my taper, so no reason to take it easy.