21 January 2012

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Course marking the Mountain Mist 50K looks like this;-)
Wow, mother nature really didn't want people do mark the course for this year's Mountain Mist 50K or let anyone run the trails at all today. Well, that might have kept the occasional runner away from the trails, but it didn't deter a lot of others.

The run to mark the MM course was originally scheduled for 7AM, however, the weather made it somewhat inadvisable stick to that plan. Instead, HTC posted on its Facebook that everyone volunteering to help out with marking the Mountain Mis5t 50K course for next weekend would meet at the hikers parking lot at Monte Sano State Park at 9am in hopes that the worst of the weather would have past. To paint a picture, we had a tornado watch in effect until noon as well as severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings. But I had to get a long run in, so...

I met up with Richard at his house at 7:50AM to get in an extra 5 miles before volunteering to assist with marking the first half of the MM50K course. As soon as Rich and I took of from his house, the downpour started and we were completely soaked within seconds. I did manage to grab a windbreaker out of my pack to stay somewhat protected and warm. Once rich and I reached the bottom of Tollgate trail, we saw that we would basically have to climb up a raging stream to reach the top of the mountain. Once I accepted that I would stay wet, I actually embraced the mud and the rain. It was fun. Rich and I reached the hiker;s parking lot atop Monte Sano just 10 minutes before 9. Folks were still arriving and once Eric Charette got there, he started handing out flags and tape and divvying up course sections for marking.

Michael Gravel, Richard Trice, Jason Shattuck and I ended up with the first 15 miles, just as I had wanted. However, had I known the weather beforehand or how long it would take to place flags and tape, I might have chosen a shorter section of the course to mark. In the end, I was glad I didn't. I got the 20 mile training run in just like I wanted and even with the weather conditions, I only rolled my bad ankle once;-)

Even with the bad weather and trail conditions, "a great time was had by all". In true Mountain Mist tradition, the weather was as unpredictable as ever and a thick mist was hanging over the mountain. It took significantly longer than any of us expected and every single one of us probably ended up in the doghouse one we got home, but it felt great to have actively contributed to a local event. 

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