I finished! It was really tough, a couple of pretty steep climbs, very rocky course… several water crossings, but whew was it awesome to make it to the finish! I am proud to say that I didn’t even one time consider quitting.. maybe that means I wasn’t pushing hard enough? I was pretty beat down by the end though and finished in 7:52:45. Not positive on the seconds for sure, but I beat 8 hours. We started out in front of the main yurt at The Mountain Institute.. which is such a cool place, I am sorry that I have not been up here until now, though now will definitely be back. It was pretty cold, low 40’s at least and we did a quick loop of the lower fields at TMI and back around to the Start/Finish area before heading off into the woods and the bad ass singletrack trails. I ran for a little bit with Mike from Durham, NC and Joseph from outside of DC area. Mike would soon leave me after the first aid station… he is a heck of a runner and not a stranger to this ultra thing… Joseph then picked me up shortly after and we ran together through AS2, he got a couple of photos and a video clip of me, and then he dropped me near the top of the first really tough hike/climb out of AS2 around mile 12 or so. I had to duck into the woodline and poop so I did, and he kept on rolling on… great company up until then, we talked running and about Born to Run and irunfar.com, and some other cool stuff. I hope to run into him again. From that point on I ran the final 17 miles solo, in that no man’s land that I often find myself in when I compete in mtn bike races or trail runs.. not in the front, but not last.. just kind of dangling in the middle somewhere! It’s lonely at times, but I was concentrating so hard on the trail ahead that I didn’t take much time for self pity! At any rate, this first day of the WV Trilogy was a real treat and I hope to be fit enough to do the entire thing next year. The Aid Station volunteers were WONDERFUL! Filled my handheld bottle, gave me cups of coke.. whatever I needed, and especially the cheering as I approached, a pic or two, and then encouragement as I exited the table to resume my run. It was great to see them for sure! I am hooked on this sport and am already planning my next trail race on October 23rd at ACE Rafting although it’s ONLY a trail half marathon, and the Frozen Sasquatch will likely be my next ultra, a 50k, in early January close to home at the KSF. Good times.. here’s a few of my lame photos, maybe I will post more if WVMTR publishes some next week in their wrap up. Oh, I think they said I placed 11th.
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