27 January 2018


Myself, Jeff, Paul, and Jerry, some of my trail brothers with 23 MM finishes between us.
I got my 8th finish in 9 years at this year's 24th edition of the Mountain Mist 50K and rather than write my usual 8th race report about the Mist, I'll just write a brief post of why I keep coming back to this one. Well, of course, there is the coveted 10 year jacket given to anyone that completes the Mist 10 times and that's certainly a big motivating factor that gets you to the finish line, especially when the going gets tough during the race. However, that really wasn't a reason for me when I ran my second or third Mist.
Shar, myself and Craig, 24 MM finishes between us.
Then there is the beautiful terrain. I'm not just talking about the Overlook, the Stone Cuts, the Waterfall or any of the creek crossings. They are certainly fantastic and worth a picture or two. No, Im talking about the actual terrain, the trails. They are almost entirely single track and lull you in in the early stages of the race, where many a runner has been sucked in to believe that this will be easy and that a PR is in their surely in the cards for them. Well, that last for about 6 miles when runners start their first technical climb and it continues to get more technical and difficult every step of the way. And before they know it, runners had wished they had saved some of the early spunk for the later stages of the race.
Alex and I pushing for a sub 5 hour finish.
An if trails like Railroad Bed or Alms House Trail didn't challenge a runner enough with their rocky terrain, then there are climbs like K2, Waterline and Rest Shelter. Add all of this together and you end up with one hell of a trail ultra that also happens to be the oldest in Alabama. However, while these are all valid reasons for trail runners to show up and toe the starting line of Mountain Mist again and again, they are not the reason I show up again and again.
Cruising down Railroad Bed.
I show up for this race year after year, because it represents the epitome of what trail and ultra running is all about. I show up an hour early, I run the race, sometimes slow, sometimes faster, and I stay for 3-4 hours after, every year. Why? Because of the people. When you've run trail races around the Southeast, then you'll quickly realize that you'll see some of the same faces over and over again. While it may not seem that way when you first start trail running and see all these people lining the starting line, the trail and ultra running community is still very small. We're a family and the Mist is like the annual family reunion. I look forward to seeing trail family from both near and far.
Another hard earned finish in the books.
I'd love to hear why you run the Mist. Please comment below. And if you haven't run it, yet, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year. You know I'll be there.

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