The race started and there were 4 Hammett's in the pack. Greg took it out followed by Jonny, then Glenny, and then me somewhere in the back of the crowd. It was a glorious morning! I just tried to stay relaxed on the roads heading into the park and knew what I was in for on the Reservoir trail this time. I feel like I climbed it pretty well. I kept going back and forth with a couple people, tried to latch onto a couple guys and made it to the Ridge trail pretty happy with my effort and feeling pretty good (52:46). I knew the Ridge trail would be tough and had already calculated that some walking would be in order. The guys I was near quickly dropped me and I never saw them again. The thing about the ridge is that the first part isn't the steepest, but it's long. The footing is so nice it just seems like it should be so runnable - for some I'm sure it is, but I had my mental block on and walked a bit here and there. At the first look out I was passed by a woman who looked real smooth. She offered words of encouragement and I tried to keep her in sight. I did for awhile as we caught a guy who looked like he may have gone out too fast. The woman dropped us eventually and the man and I got to the Kilburn station together (38:41). We went back and forth up the Kilburn Road to Davis (8:31). I finally dropped him on Davis and low and behold I caught a glimpse of the woman from the Ridge ahead...that lasted about 1 minute. This is where I started to get pretty tired. I hadn't run over 2 hours in a really looong time and it was starting to catch up with me. A woman passed me like I was climbing a tree instead of running on Davis. But onward- I just kept chugging along. I got to Hubbard and looked at my watch- I knew from my runs that I can get across Hubbard to my car in less than 20 minutes and the clock was around 2 hours. Hmm pretty close to be near 2:30. Up Hubbard and I saw and finally caught the woman who passed me on the Ridge just as we started down the Hill- she said "go for it" and for a few minutes I did. I got to the road and saw the woman who passed me on Davis and for a second thought I could get her. Then I hit the road and my legs said you'll be lucky to finish. My car is usually parked right there because of the mean dog in between our house and the trailhead so I don't run this road as often as you might expect. I made it down the hill and knew the uphill on the pavement would be a killer. I yelled to Griffin, who was "cheering me on" from inside the house, that I'd be back for her later. My hips were hurting and fatigued- how did I ever run a marathon? I did walk on the hill. Ugh. I stopped to take a big breath and collect my thoughts- my clock said I had 8 minutes to get tot he finish under 2:30. That was a hard little trek up the road. My own Road! But I reached the turn onto 63, heard Greg yelling- with a little surprise to see me this early in his voice? Finished at 2:28:59. Good enough for a PR. I was quite tired. I really think I should be running that a lot faster. So next year I am going to train and try to have a HUGE PR.
I was psyched to hear Greg had won and gotten the course record; Jonny had a great race and I think Glenny did better than he had expected. So it was a good day for the Hammett's. The rest of the day was spent cheering in other runners from our yard on Winchester Road. Boj had a good 50K. Our friend James Calloway ran his first 50K on his 50th Birthday that day!
Overall I was pleased. Next "big" race will be Lil Rhody with even more Hammett's in the line-up. Fall is the best! Just gotta get motivated to have a PR there....any day now. It's a process and I love it!
Thanks to Pard for getting quite a few good pictures! More on the Pisgah website (link on the right)
|Greg wins and captures Course Record!|
|Me finishing...a PR's and PR!|
|Hanging in the yard waiting for the 50K finishers....|