My fourth try at Mountain Mist. Recent rain and snow made the trail sloppy and slow. No falls! Amazing for me. Ran a fast first split to Aid #1. Once I got into the hills, I didn't have the climbing strength of last year. My norm is when I start to really breath heavily I switch to walking - I did this much more often. I normally rely on aid station gatorade for half my carbs and I don't think the HEED they were giving out had much sugar. It wasn't sweet at all. By the time, this sunk in I was contemplating quitting at mile 18. The slipping and rocks were getting to me and I dejectedly started walking. After several people past me, my friend Jon came by followed closely by a guy and a petite lady in pig tails, pink arm sleeves, and black pleated skirt. I got the urge to catch up with Jon and I found the strength to get back my stride. At the aid station, I was still dizzy and uncoordinated. I slammed two cups of mello yello, two salt tabs, a Gu, and filled my bottle again with the Heed junk. Jon had transitioned through the aid station fast and told me to catch up. I made up a 75 yard gap in about 2 minutes and then trotted behind him and a line of 4 others who had passed me during my zombie walk. I had found my second wind and it carried the remaining 10 miles. This race is so tough its hard to believe. Terrible footing in many many spots and stretches. I feel good about my effort. My second fastest Mtn Mist. 30 minutes slower than last year.