As always, I start watching the weather about 10 days out from any race I'm doing. Rain and possible thunder & lightning is basically what I saw the entire time. The rain does not bother me during a race, lightning does. Luckily we just had rain.
The day started early with a 50 mile drive to Red Top Mountain State Park but not before a stop at Quik Trip for coffee and some simple carbohydrates. Got there, in the dark, with plenty of time to spare - no problem though, prefer this to rushing at the last minute.
|parking in the dark, in the rain, in an open field in the woods - it's a trail race!|
|check in is a breeze in smaller races :)|
|and plenty of time to cycle through a few times...|
As it got light we headed over to starting line and we were off. Only a slight drizzle coming down at the beginning.
The first mile was on the road which allowed me to alternate between brisk and fast walking without any problem. However once on the trail, with the rocks, roots, ups, downs, switchbacks,... well the terrain pretty much dictated fast vs. brisk and at times, slow. My idea of alternating between those will probably only work in a road race. Oh well.
The race really was uneventful. Everything went pretty smooth - I did not get lost in woods - there was great signage telling us which way to go, I did not fall, they had plenty of aid stations with water, Gatorade, fruit. The only frustrating thing was not being able to see my pace, mileage, heart rate, time on my watch after about mile 4 - with the rain, humidity, body heat, my glasses were fogged up.
|finishing the race at mile 13|
I finished in 2:58:33, soaking wet! It was a really good workout.