The photo below shows me running up the last small uphill to finish the race, it was taken by SNAPacidotic, a great photographer that was offering up the race photos of the runners for free on their facebook page.
|Finishing photograph courtesy of SNAPacidotic|
|GPS Track of the course, I had 27.4 miles and 2,537' climb but it is not always accurate.|
|Elevation of course with blue "Pace" line|
There were a few volunteers at different spots on the remainder of the course letting us know we had 2 miles, then 1 mile, then 150 yards. I was looking forward to getting the race over with and finding out what place I was in. Since my sub-4 hour goal had already came and went, my underlying goal was to break the top 10 overall. As I was coming up the rise to the finish line, I looked a the clock and it said 4:16:06. I found out later that I was in 9th place overall, which felt great. My recent training has included longer tempo runs at a faster pace and track intervals trying to get some of my times down and it seems to be working. I was able to get closer to Justin's placement in this race, where I am usually pretty far behind his race times. He ended up finishing in 4:10:48 and 6th place. Full results can be found here.
After finishing, I made my way over to my wife and kids who were there supporting me and greeted me at the finish. I hung out in a chair, drank a beer to rehydrate and had some burgers and hot dogs at the post-race BBQ cheering the remaining runners on as they came in. Having my wife come up with the kids was great, and ever since mile 15 I was looking forward to coming into the finish line and seeing them. She is a huge supporter of mine and is tolerant of me taking off for many hours to run into the woods by myself. I try to schedule most runs around her and my children's wake-up times, but some of the races that I run take up good portions of the day if not more.
I had a great time riding up with Justin and talking with him after the race before he makes his way down south to Virginia in the next few weeks. I owe a lot to him for motivation on the long runs we have done together as well as some of the weekday training runs. These would have the tendency to be less interesting if he hadn't been out there to enjoy the trails with.
The volunteers and race directors were all great at this race and helped me to get in and out of the aid stations in record time. Very well marked course and the trails were beautifully laid out, and maintained by the mountain biking community in the area. I wanted to extend a thank you to the organizers and volunteers for the race, hopefully I will be back next year to try for the top 5.
The next plans I have are to join Eric Ahern and maybe Ryan Davenport on a Semi-Double Presidential Traverse on August 23rd, going from N-S and hitting Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Clay, Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower, and Pierce then turning around to climb them again before returning to our car in Appalachia or Dolly Copp. It is a semi-double because I don't plan to go to the base of Pierce or Jackson. If the weather does not cooperate, I have a Plan B of doing a Wildcats-Moriah Traverse out & back run. After the long run, I don't have anything on the docket until the TARC Fall Classic 50k in October.