So I ended up racing the Dirty Dawg afterall. Didn’t do as well as I would have liked, I was hurting a bit during the race, but I have to attribute this mainly to lack of fitness. I wasn’t really hurting from a cardio standpoint, just a achy hips/ structural pain type of standpoint. The race started in the John’s Hollow parking lot and climbed up Pigeon Roost trail which I was able to take much easier than I had a couple of days before when I was reconning the course. From there the course rolled along Boundary, where there were two spots I ended up walking a little and then there was a nice fast technical descent and over the road to the mother of a climb up White Hollow… I was hurting here for sure but I made sure I was using good “ultra” form walking up the hill and keeping my hands off my knees and putting my glutes to work as I hiked up the trail. I read in a Trailrunner mag article that this helps save wear on your quads and calves and it seemed to work at least a little. Then out to the access road which was nice and muddy and over to the last two Middle Ridge trails and then back to the access road for about 1.5 miles to the top of John’s Hollow and the fast and technical descent to the finish. I was really hurting coming down the last hill and really had to focus on the trail to keep it together. I was flying along and caught two people and was on the heels of another but I just didn’t have the oomph to get around her, and to her credit, she really ran the bottom part of the descent quite nicely, it would have taken a lot of effort to get around even if I had been inclined to give it a go. Instead I tucked in and stayed close behind and she gapped me a little at the very bottom going into the finish. Overall I believe my finishing time was 1 hour 40 min and 6 seconds.. about 5 minutes faster than my goal time that I was shooting for. Cool race with all sorts of great folks and awesome dogs. I will be definitely be back next year with my Daisy Dog by my side next time!
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