Thursday, May 22, 2008

Massanuttten does Rock

Jesus walked on Water and Moses parted the Red Sea, but I ran the rocks of the Massanutten Mtn Trails 100!
The descriptions of the course below was taken from a race report after the first Annual race:

“Folklore says that Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, in order to distinguish the myriad varieties of snow they encounter intimately in daily life. I predict that, similarly, MMT100 runners will develop a hundred words for "rocky trails." We had large rocks, small rocks, medium rocks covered with leaves, steep rock "steps" slick with rain, rocks with water running across them, rocks with water running down them, suitcase-sized rocks, rocks in mud... Not to mention the varieties introduced by steep uphills, steep downhills, and night.
One of my personal favorites were the rocks leading through the stream crossings. Joe Clapper may have been able to cross on these rocks, but when I got there they were six inches under water.... I also suspect that on parts of the course (like coming into Edinburg Gap), the organizers abandoned trails altogether and just marked rocky streams instead.”

I can’t agree more, and even though I cursed the rocks the whole way, it is truly what made the race so great, different and so satisfying to make the finish. As I ran, walked and stumbled through the night my mantra was “I didn’t fly 2,000 miles to run the Vermont 100, I came to run Massanutten, so pick it up and move”

Since I didn’t know anybody in the area and didn’t feel like trying to hook up with a pacer I ran the race without one. I was a little worried about this and had planned to try to team up with people for the night section, but since I found myself mostly running alone after the 48 mile mark I got used to running by myself. I actually started to either speed up or back off a bit in the night to stay away from other groups. I started to like not having the distraction of other people, easier to remember to take your gu, look for the next marker, set exactly the pace you want. I started to retreat inside my own head, this made the lows lower but I seemed to like the extra challenge. This of course was made easier by the fact the I had my wife waiting for me at the aid stations to look forward to, I might have been more bored, lonely, what ever you want to call it if I didn’t have her to look forward to. Once again my wife came through with flying colors, driving all over Gods greens earth on narrow back country roads by herself, staying awake all night, and she even found time too help take care of other runners and of course took care of me. The aid station people as usual were fantastic, and would always go the extra mile to help.

I will not go into a detailed race report. I didn’t make my time goal for the race, and I really don’t have any excuses. I had no major issues accept some extra sore feet from all the mud and water crossings. My goal was 27 hours and I came in 28:26. But I did place in the top 25 and that was one of my other goals so 1 for 2 sits well with me. I lost the battle but won the war so to speak. I met a lot of great people, ran a terrific tough course so I am just really pleased to have finished. Plus I doubled my 100 race experience, which make me confidant going into Wasatch this summer.

So enjoy these great smooth wonderful trails we get to run on out West, I know I will


peter said...

Rock on Greg.

Christian said...

Great run, nice write up.