31 miles, 6:46
I want to preface this report by saying this was definitely the most difficult race I have done. The hills started at mile 1 and continued consistently to the finish line. It was about 25 degrees through the race. The ground was frozen so the footing was pretty good. There were frozen horse tracks on some on the trails which were a little tricky to maneuver, but it wasn’t a big deal. It started snowing pretty hard around mile 12. I don’t really think the snow had too much impact on my time. It made me slow down a little on certain parts but it wasn’t a big deal. There were some patches of Ice on the course. I had a pretty bad fall onto my back which bruised up my elbow, but didn’t affect my running. There really wasn’t one section of this course that sticks out as being more difficult then any other. The whole course was full of technical single track trails and huge hills. The web site advertised 17 hills of at least 200 feet climb each. This didn’t count the ones that were run twice. I counted about 23 or so. I was very happy with my performance. It wasn’t until mile 26 that my legs really started feeling the hills, but even after that I was able to finish strong (No bird watching after this one Rob, ha). Although I didn’t even come close to a PR this was probably my best race. I suffered no blow ups during the race and was able to run the entire course, minus the hills. I think the winner (Eric Grossman) finished somewhere around 4:40, and the second place finisher didn’t break 5 hours, which shows how tough the course is. This will probably be my last long run before my first 50 miler at LBL and I am feeling good about it. The race director for LBL was at Lovin’ the Hills. He said LBL was not nearly as difficult as this course. He said there are two big hills and the rest are rolling. I am excited for LBL and I think I am ready for it.