I said I was going to push it at this race. Most of my races in the past year have been more like training runs. I didn't take a camera, phone... wasn't planning on chatting much- just wanted to run as fast as I could. Envisioned myself making up a lot of ground in the last 6 miles. Wanted to finish in the top 20 out of 74 starters.
I guess I didn't exactly stick to my plan but I had a pretty good race. After mile 2, I started running with a group of guys that ranged from 2-4. I ran with 2 of them for a couple of miles & ended up running with one of them for the next 13 miles or so. The miles clipped along without much effort, but at mile 15, the guy I was with, Tom said he was planning on walking more than we had been. I went ahead & got caught by the first woman a mile later. We ran together for the next few miles & several times, I'd go ahead a little & she'd catch up. We probably stuck together for the better part of 10 miles, and I was convinced we'd finish the race together, but another woman passed us & she went after her. I didn't feel like picking it up quite yet. I think I finished within 10-12 minutes of both of them. The last 8 miles was lonelier. The only people I saw were the two guys passed, and didn't spend any time with them. I almost never get passed in the last 10K of an ultra and I like to finish strong. Today was no exception, but I walked a little more than I wanted to. Needed a little motivation. No one to run with. No one I could see to go catch. Ran as fast as I could the last 2.5 miles- easily my fastest of the day.
The weather could've been better. It was extremely muggy for the first 2/3 of the race and then the sun came out and it got hot. 82 when we finished. It rained about 1/2" last night, so there were some nice muddy spots.
I finished in 6:49, which is right at 12:00/mile. 23rd overall. I'll take top third. Given my slack training lately & the heat, I was satisfied. I had no problems to speak of today. Skin felt really hot, and I had some heat rash on my chest, but legs were fine. I could count on one hand the number of 15+ mile runs I've done since Rocky Raccoon 100 Miler in February... OK, maybe not quite one hand, but I know I could do it on 6-7 fingers. I'm used to getting a lot more mileage in but just haven't had the time to do it this track season.
Terri Hayes puts on great, low key races with sparse (average of 8-9 miles between aid stations), but well-stocked & friendly aid stations. The course was rolling singletrack with not a lot of scenery. A few creek crossings.
SweetH2O 50K outside Atlanta later in the month. Looking forward to that one. Looks tough. I'm glad I got today's race in before that one.