Luckily for us the race didnt start until 11am. Which means it was able to warm up to a balmy 10* at the start. Cant really complain because last year we had 2-3inches of snow.
Last year (2011) this race was my first ever race of any kind and had no idea what to expect except that it was very hilly, cold and fun!
At the start of the race you walk less then 1/4mile to the start on the road. The race start time was 11:00 and as we have found...that means start walking to the start at 11:00!! I find that my toes are already frozen after less then 20mins standing outside. After some quick musings all 600 runners took off down the road and onto a wide trail. After about 1/4mile you scramble up the first hill which has no actual trail...make your own!
Here is a short video of the first climb thanks to Christopher Hand!
It is a blast and is needed to try to spread out the hugh pack of runners!
Once you get to the top you get a few minutes to catch your breath while you are bottle necked for the single track. I think my first mile registered at over 18minutes per mile! Then you start to spread out again with the next climb. I feel good at this point and just keep moving along passing several people and others passing me.
The first aid station is at mile 2.5 which actually seemed to come pretty quick. As we are coming out of the woods to the AS was a slippery slope that everyone was sliding on and of course I tried to step gingerly and instead crashed to my butt and wrist. But jumped up quickly and sucked down some water.
Then up to the next single track! Again, another hill. I felt like I was doing more of a fast hike then any kind of actual running. When someone behind me askes their friend if THIS is the much talked about Mt. Whatdafuck. Friend says, "NO. You will know when we get to Mt. Whatdafuck!" As in- whatdafuck was I thinking ;) I just laughed.
The other AS quickly comes upon us. This is the one with the alternative beverages! I, however, choose water. And experience my first brain freeze of the race...ugg... After this 4mile AS comes a really nice and really runnable section! The trails are in so much better shape this year with no snow on the ground and I feel like I am cruising! Even passed a couple of people! But soon enough comes the next hill and find that I am in the front of a line of about 20 people. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate to be in the front with people right behind me. And I really didnt like it because hills are my weakness. But I started up anyhow. Got about halfway with heavy footsteps behind me-I cant belive I could hear them over my incredibly loud breathing! So, I stepped off to the side and let about six people pass before I jumped back in line. Again, someone askes if THIS is Mt. Whatdafuck?! NOPE!
Ahh, but yes, we come to the top of this hill and before our eyes is Mt. Whatdafuck...straight up... It is short but steep. At the top you are on a 3ft high ledge that you jump down onto the road. Not bad except your legs feel like jelly! Took me a couple of steps to get my legs back and then took off running down hill and onto our last stretch of single track that is all down hill!
People were moving slow over the rocks so I passed and took off with about three other girls. Across the park and up the very last climb to the finish.
The last climb to the finish is very steep. Hand over hand steep. And I love it because all the crazy people are standing at the top yelling at you! Last year I thought it was just because I was so slow and they were already drunk and yelling! Indeed they are just having a great time cheering the runners in!
I managed to cross the finish line in 1:47 which is a 20min improvement from last year! I was very disappointed in my time. I thought for sure I was moving faster then that! 7miles in 1:47 YIKES!Oh well, it was a great improvement anyhow.
I come to find out that all of the after race candy and drinks are frozen! We had to dip our cups inside the container to scoop out our Gatorade. It was still that cold out. And then came brain freeze #2 hits. Dang that stuff is cold! The great thing to is that you are served a hot breakfast afterwards of egg, panckaes and sausage! Cant beat that.
I thought this would be the last year that I would do this race-that thought esp crosses your mind during the 2nd, 3rd, 4th hills. But infact it is so much fun that I cant wait to do it again next year and plan to improve my time even more...by ALOT...darn it!!
Happy trails :)