We left the house around 5:35 and I was trying to make it to the race as quickly as possible, but the rain just got heavier and heavier, keeping my speed to a bare minimum to avoid wrecking on the curvy back roads of Randolph County. The forecast was for light rain in the morning, not for a torrential down pour with a few claps of thunder and lightening. My mood was getting even worse. As soon as we got to the shuttle area, I rushed out of the car to get to the bathroom. My stomach was not going to cooperate with me for the second straight year it seemed. After spending too much time in the pitch black porta-john, I had missed the shuttle and needed my crew to rush me to the start before check-in closed. It was still pouring and my mood continued to get worse and worse. What a "crappy" morning. Upon arriving to the start, I was telling my crew "Let's just go home, I'm so upset right now," which Hannah responded to with a masterful tone "No we are not, your getting yourself out there right now!" Needless to say, I got out of the car, signed in, and stood in pity under the drop bag tent with at least 20 other crazy people (not sure if they were standing in pity though). A few of them I knew and some I knew of from WNC Trail Runner (Rick Gray, Brian Bedhun, Mike Mason, David Olsen, & Jason Smith).
|About to start|
The first 11 miles were pretty much uneventful other than one bathroom break and a pull off to the side of the trail to empty my shoe of sand after a creek crossing (the creek crossings were deep this year, one was up to my waist). I felt solid the whole time and was hitting my splits dead on, despite the two breaks which may have cost me a total of 5 minutes. I mainly ran by myself from the 5 mile point to the 8 mile point and after the bathroom break at mile 8.5, I started to run with a pretty cool guy I met named Jonathan. We were pretty much evenly paced so it worked out running together.
At the 11 mile aid station, I got caught up and he went on ahead and I couldn't catch back up with him until mile 16 on the toughest climb of the day. The section between 11 and 15 looks pretty easy on the map, but it always kills me and I lose significant time on it every time. Its a constant roller coaster of short ups and downs and you can never get into a rhythm. On the climb at 16, a caught 2 more runners and found myself in 8th place. At the 17.5 mile aid station, I passed Jonathan and was in 7th feeling strong heading into the turn around.
|Coming into the turn around|
|Heading back out after taking care of business|
|Coming into the 32 mile aid station.|
|Crossing the finish!|
|Glad to be done|
Check out the garmin info here: Uwharrie Mountain Run 40M