08 February 2014


That's right, that white dot behind me is Cary!
I signed up for this race thinking it would be a nice and easy run on some easy flatish trails. After all, this race took place somewhere out in the country just 45 minutes north of Huntsville. I pictured cow pastures and flat jeep roads maybe, but not any challenging terrain. Boy was I wrong! This one turned out to be a challenging trail race, indeed and I am glad I treated it as a training race considering the shape I was in when I signed up for this awesome race.

I arrived at the race site with plenty of time to spare prior to the race start. It was a rather chilly morning and the RD and crew of volunteers had a lot of foresight and set up not only large tents, but heaters as well. And fret not if you forgot to grab some breakfast when you headed out the door to attend this race. They were serving up lots of goodies, coffee, hot chocoloate, and even oatmeal and other post race goodies. I opted for some coffee but decided to keep the food for later.

The race started on time and both the 10K racers and the 25K racers took off on the same course, that would later diverge to separate the two groups of racers. I decided to take it easy as my training was just now picking up, my mileage increasing ever so slowly week by week. Cary was working on some racing strategies for his upcoming Thunder Rock 100 Miler in May and so decided to take it slow and easy as well, which allowed for some great company throughout this race. Thanks Cary;-) We also "picked up" Shar along the way, who ended up running with us for quite a while as well. This race was gnarlier than I and a lot of other runners had thought and that wasn't just because my training wasn't quite what I wanted it to be. Then again, some other runners (e.g. Will and Benj) had some great races, so maybe it was just my perception:-)

With a couple of miles to go, I decided to push my pace a little to try to giterdun. While I started slow, I finished strong. Final thoughts? Great first time event, great race organization, great race team of volunteers, great food. What's not to like? I'll be back for more next year:-)

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