My third try at this beast of a race. Lots of climbing (advertised as 3000 ft+), rocks, steep downhills,...
The past two attempts were enjoyable up until about 18-20 miles and then they became stumbling , torturous slogs through the woods. This year, I had a nutrition plan and kept to it. I started conservatively as is my general ultra strategy. I came into Aid #1 in 21st place and by Aid #2 was 23rd place. I was feeling good and was content at the pace I was on. Races like this don't get easier as the day goes on so I like to keep some in the tank.
I didn't noticeably pick up the pace but I just kept steady, kept eating and drinking. I slowly passed people and got up to 13th by aid station #5. David Purinton (12th place) had a 9 minute lead there with 6 miles to go. I narrowed it to two minutes by the time I crossed the finish line. He is very fast and an excellent trail runner so I was very pleased to be in his shadows. I need a longer race to be able to beat him.
I felt good at the end and was able to do around 7 min/mile on the non-technical final 1.5 miles. The post race pizza and cookie cake hit the spot. You can't beat a good frosted cookie cake.
This was the first trail race in over 3 years that I didn't fall. Its a good thing to as when you fall on Mtn Mist you have a good change of hitting rocks.
Ended up with a course pr by 45 minutes. No where near my 50k PR of 4:14 but given the difficulty of the course I take it as a huge victory.