We got down to the race local the evening before, dinner was a huge burger and fries with a beer. Later on I had one more beer and a couple of cookies. This is not how I usually eat but you know gotta fuel up.
I don't know about everyone else but I slept great that night and the race didn't start till 8am just across the street from where we were staying. Plenty of time for coffee and getting ready in the morning. I had 1 1/2 cups of coffee with cream, a lemon Luna bar and half a banana.
It was so warm on race morning, like 50˚ in mid January! I love warm weather! I started the morning with a bunch of clothes on but ended up striping down to my sports bra and shorts for the start.
The course was a 7k loop, then an out and back for the rest of the distance. The 50k and 25k races started together then the 25kers headed back around mile 10 I think.
The 7k loop was pretty all along the lake, rocky and kinda challenging to run with a decent amount of up and down. At this time there were several women ahead of me but I didn't know which race they were in. After the 7k loop I passed several of these women on the way to the 2nd aid station at the 25k turn around. The last one I passed in this section seemed like she was a 50ker and would catch up to me if I slowed down much at all. It was still early in the race so I didn't know how my no long run training would pan out for me.
Shortly after the aid station there was a long flat road bridge to run that crossed the lake before running back into another trail. I passed the last women here. She must of gotten off to a super fast start because I ran right past her and knew she wouldn't catch up.
The course was pretty much all hills but mostly very runable. I was really loving the hills. At the next aid station the volunteer told me I was the 1st female so I felt like I needed to pick it up so I'd keep that position.
The next miles to the turn around were the most challenging with the biggest climbs and descents.
We got to climb up and down ropes on one little part of the course which was fun. I really felt like I have improved my downhill run. I know its what to work on to make up time. I mean if you can just plow down the hills with out fear of tripping and bashing your head or ripping your leg open on the rocks then it's like free time.
My least favorite part of the course was this short area that had a steep side grade so you were going sideways kinda but it didn't last too long.
A 1/4 mile after the turn around I ran into the next 2 females, they did have a huge hill to climb but I didn't want anyone coming up on me in the last mile so I decided I better not take it easy on the way back or tsp for pictures like I usually do. Back to the next aid station went fast even though it was there harder part of the course. I was trying to push it a little and I got to see my friends and everyone else in the race.
At the next aid stain the guy told me I was at mile 19 which didn't seem right ( my watch said something more like 23ish) but the trail became more runable so for the most part I ran even though the hills were tougher than on the way out. Didn't seem like too long before I hit the last aid station and they assured me that it was only 5 and something miles to the end.
A couple miles later I was ready to see the finish. I was looking at my watch way too much and a ways before the finish you could hear the band but I had no real idea how close I was. I sign that mentioned when there was 1 mile left might of been nice.
Soon enough though I could see the buildings through the trees and realized I was there so of course I picked it up to the finish line. The band was playing Jason Aldean's Dirt Road Anthem. While I realize they weren't playing it for me it's a fun song to finish on(judge if you want, it's a great song.)
I finished 1st female and 7th overall out of 40 finishers with a time of 6:29:02.
I got a sweet award and a surprise $50 for winning.
During the race I ate 6 salt pills, 3/4 a package of shot bloks, 1/2 a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 4 pringles, 1 mini crunch bar. Then lots of water and 2 Nuun tabs(at races I just eat my Nuun now rather than dissolving it in my water.)
I really loved this race, the course was very pretty. I don't know if I just needed an escape from reality for the weekend but I really enjoyed all the hills, the people I met and friends I got to spend the weekend with.