Caroline Furnace - Moreland Gap
4.1 miles 51 minutes
This section started with a basic road climb to the first aid station. Weather was nice and I took a few walk breaks to keep the legs relaxed as I eased into things. The plan was to try to run even splits throughout the entire race. So the body was was feeling good as I took in the moment.
8.1 miles 2 hours 5 minutes
12.1 miles 2 hours 56 minutes
|Finally on top and running|
|Final climb of the section|
Running on top of the ridge I stopped briefly to remove my windbreaker and pack away my headlamp. The sunrise was beautiful from atop of the mountain. Weather was warming up and so were my legs in good way.
|Starting the climb to Woodstock with Tim & Steve (Animal Camp Runners)|
Woodstock Tower - Powells Fort
5.6 miles 1 hour 13 minutes
25.8 miles 6 hours 9 minutes
Coming into Woodstock I caught up to Michelle Matys as she was about to leave. I had not seen her since the first mile. Her goal was inline with mine so I joined her throughout most of this section. A lot of the climbs my legs would power right up with my arms in a nice rhythm. The downhills I took precaution and kept a comfortable pace in order to ensure I had legs for later when needed. Again this section had some really good runnable areas on top.
Powells Fort - Elizabeth Furnace
7.5 miles 1 hour 55 minutes
33.3 miles 8 hours 4 minutes
|Closing out the trail and into
Photo by Traci Phillips
Elizabeth Furnace - Shawl Gap
4.7 miles 1 hour 18 minutes
38.0 miles 9 hours 22 minutes
Elizabeth Furnace Aid Station
Photo by Traci Phillips
|Following Zsuzsanna into Shawl|
Shawl Gap - Veach Gap
3.1 miles 43 minutes
41.1 miles 10 hours 5 minutes
A quick bit to eat here at Shawl before I headed out for 3.1 rolling road section. Looking around as I ran the road I took in all the mountains around me. Knowing what I had covered and what was ahead of me I was feeling confident that my body was ready for the challenge. This section went by rather nice and before I knew it I was coming into Veach Gap.
Veach Gap - Indian Grave Trailhead
9.0 miles 2 hours 44 minutes
50.1 miles 12 hours 49 minutes
|A surprise look when offered an
ice cream sandwich|
Photo by Kirstin Corris
I was greeted by ultrarunnergirl aka Kirstin, who I became friends with via twitter a few years ago. It was great to finally meet her in person. She helped me pop the blister that was forming on my right heel pad, attended a chafing issue on my right shoulder, gave me shout-out for my birthday and just made it a great experience there.
|Runners making the climb|
|Finally on top and time to run
Indian Grave Trailhead - Habron Gap
3.9 miles 1 hour
54.0 miles 13 hours 49 minutes
|Working the road section to the mountain in the distance|
Habron Gap - Camp Roosevelt
9.8 miles 3 hours 22 minutes
63.9 miles 17 hours 11 minutes
Again I saw Traci at the aid station, she said Michelle was close and she would be joining her since it was going on 6:00pm. I snacked on some cheese quesadillas, sandwiches and a few hundred more calories for the biggest section of the day. The word was two miles in your face straight up, a few miles on the ridge then a long decent into the next aid station. I went straight into climbing mode and made my way quickly up the mountain. Once on top the few people I had passed them and several more all began to zoom by me on the ridge section. Here is when I felt the blisters forming all around my toes. My stride on the downs was changing to adapt to the pain. A few miles before the aid station I sat down on the trail and popped three blisters on my right foot to try to escape the discomfort. Every step downhill was getting worse. Frustration was now in my mindset; here I was feeling absolutely amazing, my legs had not even felt like I had ran yet on the day, stomach was in check, no heat issues, no cramping, but my from my ankles to my toes a disaster was forming quickly. About two miles from the aid station I finally powered on my headlamp. Reaching the aid station I did the usual eat, drink and get the logistics then back out.
Camp Roosevelt - Gap Creek #1
5.8 miles 2 hours 38 minutes
69.6 miles 19 hours 50 minutes
Starting out it was a gradual climb and the trail started to become wet. Ankle deep in some areas and very wide. So a few times I ended up soaking my feet because there was no way around the wet areas. Mile after wet mile I felt the blisters getting worse. The uphill sections I could still muscle with no issues, but the downs were getting miserable. I would take a step then hesitate then step again. Walking at a snail pace into the aid station I knew it was time to stop. I informed the volunteer at the aid station I was dropping. The next several runners all come in running. Seeing that I knew my pace would not make the next 35 miles in 16 hours. I sat in a chair and waited out the ten minutes until the stoke of midnight and the start of my 40th birthday. Zsuzsanna was there, with her pacer Barry, and grabbed me a brownie to celebrate my birthday.
|For making it 69.6 miles (Gap Creek AS #1)|
All in all I truly enjoyed the adventure. Yes I wish I would have finished and gotten a belt buckle. I know that the training plan I used prepared me for this race was a success. My trainer pushed me hard for the past several months and now I see the benefits. Angeles Crest 100 miles is next in July. With some changes to my shoe lacing and foot maintenance I will be sporting a buckle at the end of the AC100.