I woke up around 6:15 a.m. made some coffee, ate a banana and oatmeal. Then I mixed 2 bottles of Perpetuem, grabbed some gels, packed the car and I was out on the road driving by 7:10. The rain was very heavy at times on the drive out. The weather man was calling for 1 to 2 inches rain. The temp was right around 50 and felt like it stayed right there the entire run. Arriving at the parking lot where the race starts there were not too many parking spots left. I pulled in a spot and the front end of my car slid on the mud. Yes I got stuck and had to get pushed out before the event even started – a fun way to start the day. The course was changed due to flooding of a creek we have to cross before the last big climb. After talking to a couple of the runners we decided to run the old course and cross the water. That was before the race and we didn’t think the creek would be that high.
After a couple of words from the event organizer Harry we were off running. I guessing there were 30 to 40 people that started the event. The rain fell the entire run. This was probably the most rain I ever ran in. Lucky for me the temps were warm enough that I didn’t get cold. I got to meet Jason a runner from Lancaster. He has some great times at some well know long races. We got to run off and on the entire day and talk about training and races. For most of the day I ran with Stephan, Steve and Jason. We all pushed each other the entire time so there was no time to back off. This is not a race but it was fun to be pushing it the entire run with a great group of runners/friends.
Running down the first pipeline was very slippery with the mud and some ice. I opened it up here a little because I knew the group was going to reel me back in on the flats. Running on what I call the roller coaster we kept a good pace. Then on the railroad bed we split up a little bit. Steve, Jason and another guy Adam were ahead of Stephan and me going up the climb at the Water Tank trail. The water was running everywhere right before we got on to Marcia’s Madness. Halfway up I passed Adam. In another 50 yards I yelled ahead to let Jason and Steve know I was going to do the new course. After seeing the amount of water flowing down the mountain I didn’t want to cross the creek. They waited for me at the top and we all agreed to run the new course. They started to run and I waited a little down the trail to yell back to Stephan to turn left and do the new course. From here it is fire road to the bottom on the mountain. Right when the road starts to go down I ditched my backpack that had one full bottle in. I thought why carry it down to the bottom of the mountain if I will be running right back up. Further down the road we were all running pretty close to each other. Adam started to break away a little. I was feeling pretty good running down the hill so I thought I would open my pace up. Getting by Adam and I hammered the hill as fast as I could to the bottom. The aid station was at the bottom and that is where the turnaround was. I had about a quarter of a bottle of my drink left so I didn’t need to stop. Heading right back up the hill I ran down my legs could feel the beating I just gave them. I found a pace I could run at that I didn’t get out of breath with and stayed with it. When the hill got a little too steep I just power hiked. Stephan was right back up to me in no time and Jason was there towards the top of the hill. We ran together until Marcia’s Madness. I went first and I was slipping a lot. I told Jason to go ahead so I didn’t slow him down. Once on the Water Tank trail it was crazy with all the water running down. It felt good but it was hard to follow the trail. We hit the railroad bed and both had a gel. Keeping a nice pace on the railroad bed Stephan was right back up with us after falling back a little on the steep downhill. He was having some slipping issues with his road shoes running down the slippery steep rocky trails. All three of us ran together right before the turn to go back up the pipeline which is the last big climb of the day. I ran some of the pipeline until it got too steep for me. Then I got into power hiking mode. Reaching the top of the pipeline was a relief. From there it is only 2 miles downhill to the finish. After making it back to the parking lot I could not wait to get into some dry clothes.
Overall it was a great day to be on the trail with everyone and hang out after. This is one event I will come back to every year.
3-6-2011 - 24 miles - 3:47:23 - run