|Starting arch for the Rocky Ridge|
|Hilarious picture from Not THAT Lucas's blog|
|#45 rockin the devil horns|
The course record is held by Team Nike Trail Elite runner Alex Varner at 1:33:27. My first and only time running this course yielded a 2:46:40 which was 9th in my age group. I'm hoping to beat that time but I have my doubts going into the race because of the extreme weather differences. In 2012 it was very cool, foggy, misty and almost rainy at the top of the ridge. Today is likely to break heat records at the forecasted 95°.
The downhill between 8.5 miles and 9.5 miles is some of the steepest quad shredding descents of the day. Too bad I couldn't let my legs go like earlier. They were just to beat up and so I had to do a shuffling hopping kind of gait to get down the hill. At the bottom is a short rolling hill section that ends at an aid station.
Just when I spun around my wife and son were coming up to congratulate me on such a dramatic finish. I made my way over to a chair my wife had set up and within a few minutes I chatted with the mystery runner who turned out to be Steve Long. Steve said he had been tracking me for a while and "was able to pass all of those guys but you. I could have passed you at the finish but that didn't seem right so I warned you." That was super cool of him and I told him so. He certainly didn't have to warn me and I think it speaks volumes about the trail community when runners show each other some sportsmanship like this. My wife was kind enough to grab me an It's It ice cream sandwich and a water bottle refill. So I sat and regathered my marbles for a bit as I waited for the results pages to be updated on the display boards.
Series Final Standings from 31st place to 24th out of 68 finishers. Not exactly the results I hoped for but given the effort I put into all of this I am happy just to have finished as well as I did. I don't know if I'm going to do this again in 2015 (the season starts this Saturday with the Tarantula Run) as I have my eyes set on a few road marathons and perhaps a step up to the 50 mile? Not sure about that one yet.