Friday afternoon Trey and I headed down to Huntsville for packet pick-up and a pre-race pasta dinner at the Monte Sano Lodge. It was great to see so many of our friends down there for the race as well. Chattanooga was well represented. When we headed down the mountain to our hotel that night it had started raining... GREAT.... definitely wet trails for our race the next day!
(This Picture was taken right after we crossed the finish line)
Saturday morning we woke up and headed up to the lodge where the race start would be. The rain had stopped, but we knew it would be a sloppy mess on the course. We quickly found that to be very accurate after about 5-6miles of running. Temperatures starting out were in the mid 30's, but the windchill factor made it feel 8-10 degrees colder. The day wasn't too bad other than some really cold wind every now and then. We ended up keeping our vest on the entire day and only shedding gloves.
(Picture of Mitch after finishing his first Mountain Mist... he is all smiles)
Sergio started with us and had agreed that he would stay with us as long as he possibly could so that I could keep him in check on nutrition during the race. Somewhere around mile 18-19..... he had dropped back to slow down. It was just Trey and I from there to the end.
(Kris and Randy. Kris took 3rd overall and is now sporting a "ten time finisher" jacket for the event!)
The trails were mucky here and there and occasionally there was the unavoidable mud hole, slippery rock or technically advanced segment to push through. We slowed to a power walk on the Waterline Trail to ensure that our legs weren't totally spent upon arriving to the top. At the 2nd to last aid station before entering the Land Trust we both downed some Ibuprofen.... refueled and made our way to the last nasty hill (straight up the side of the mountain) after a very technical downhill. There were a couple of guys behind us on this nasty ascent.
(Me and my new friend Mark from Atlanta)
One of which I've recently friended. His name is Mark.. he is from Atlanta and we've run into each other at a few ultra events lately. We chatted the whole way up that steep mother doing some brisk walking and what I like to refer to as power walking! Mark kept asking "how much longer.... how steep does it get" and so forth. I don't think he liked any of my answers.... I'm brutally honest.... BUT we did make it to the top... at last! Once to the top we started a slow run and then built-up to a good pace and brought it on in to the finish line. Mark was starting to get tired, but Trey and I told him to "come on... you can do it... almost there"... and he picked it up and finished with us.
(Lucky, Mitch and Sergio)
After crossing the finish line I was amazed at how good my legs felt. WOW... maybe I'm getting used to this long distance stuff! Even better.... I learned that I had actually placed at this event!.... taking home 3rd in the 39-under division! This was a huge accomplishment considering this race attracts some of the best around.
(Trey and I after changing and getting some food)
If you ever want a challenge..... put this 50K trail race on your calendar, but.... you better register quickly as it fills fast! http://www.huntsvilletrackclub.org/index2.htm