Saturday, May 26, 2012

Race 21 - Sutallee Trace Trail Challenge

I had a pretty good workout this morning, did the Sutallee Trace 10 Mile Trail Challenge in Canton, GA (by Mountain Goat Adventures).  I think about 300 people showed up.  They had a 4 mile and a 10 mile.  I was on the fence about doing this race as their website said hikers and walkers were welcomed but they suggested strongly considering doing the 4 mile instead of the 10, as the 10 was more difficult and had a 3 hour time limit (with an average runner completion time of 2 hours).  So a few days ago I just went ahead and signed up for the 10.

It was about an hour drive, but 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning - the traffic around Atlanta is a piece of cake!    Wish it was always the case...  Arrived with plenty of time, checked in, got all the race day stuff.  And once again, samples for a trail race included Tecnu Poison Ivy Scrub.  I had also read on their website that we'd be going through some areas where there was a lot of it.

At 8:15 the RD called us all together for some pre-race instructions about the course so we circled around and listened:

I have learned that it is important to listen to the RD in these sessions for trail races and even more so the smaller ones because I do find myself in the back of the pack and sometimes that pack basically consists of me!

They did a wave start, 10 milers first and 4 milers a few minutes later.  And since the two courses were the same for a bit, this meant that the really fast 4 milers would probably be passing some of us slower 10 milers.

We came upon a bridge in the first mile or so and it was a potential bottleneck as it was single file - no way to pass:

Of course by the time I got there, there was no bottleneck!  

It was not too long after the bridge when the 4 milers started passing me.  They were all great about it.  Heard quite a few "on your left".  However, it did not take me long to figure out that "on your left", on a narrow single path, trying to get over to the right as much as possible, with patches of poison ivy all over the place, pretty much meant "in the poison ivy".

It was a good thing that I followed their advice and brought a gallon container of tap water for doing the poison ivy scrub after the race!  I was going to need it.

It was a nice trail.  What I liked the most about it - you were in the deep woods: no roads, no man made noises, just nature, and for me, once the 4 milers split off from the 10 milers, only an occasional other racer.  

I finished with a time of around 2:32.  After getting something to eat & drink (the watermelon really hit the spot!), a scrub down on my legs for the poison ivy was in order:

I hope this works!


  1. Sounds like fun...except maybe for the poison ivy!

  2. What a beautiful trail. I saw your pictures before I read your blog and thought, look at the ivy. Good time for a walk, run.

  3. So, you easily made it in less than 3 hours! Sounds good - but I'm so glad we don't have poison ivy in Finland, saves us a lot of trouble! Last September, when walking around Walden Pond, a friend pointed at a plant and said it helps for the rash; crushed leaves of jewelweed can be used as first aid.

  4. Sounds like a great experience Scott ... minus the poison ivy!

  5. So far, so good - it's been about 48 hours and no sign of poison ivy rash :) fingers still crossed though...

    Interesting, was not aware no poison ivy in Finland (also had another notification from Australia - none there either). Did not know that - you are lucky!