Sunday, February 3, 2008
A fine winter's run at Uwharrie
A number of VHTRCers and WVMTRers traveled to the Uwharrie 40 yesterday. We had spectacular weather (low of 32 at the start, high of 60 at the finish with clear skies), the challenging single track trail was relatively dry despite recent storms, and the event was, as usual, first-class. A special treat at the pre-race dinner was hearing a short history of the event from race founder Bob Boeder, whose books on his 1997 Grand Slam and Hardrock adventures were very inspirational to this newbie back in 2002.
I broke the elusive 8-hour mark in 2005 (7:47) and in 2007 (7:53), and was again shooting for that goal this year. I came into the race well-rested, and was feeling relaxed and comfortable with my pace, yet I found myself consistently 10 minutes behind last year's splits at each aid station. There were about 6 or 7 women ahead of me the entire race, and despite my best efforts on the climbs in the second half, I couldn't catch any of them. In addition, I found myself "scratching leaves" at least 4 times with GI distress...was it the heat? the Hammergel? The Nuun? Am I just getting too old to run fast? One thing is for sure: something was bugging my stomach and I think I will mix up my nutrition at Holiday Lake in two weeks.
Despite all the time I wasted making pit stops, I was very happy with my time (8:08) and I feel great today. The VHTRC men and women fared very well--Sean Andrish was first male, Brian Schmidt was second, and Jen Ragone, an accomplished Ironman, was third in her first 40 miler! I was very impressed with the number of women who broke 8 hours (5). Clearly, more fast women are taking up the sport, and it was fun to talk to and share the VHTRC team spirit with Jen and new member Alyssa Godesky (who almost broke 8:00 with just seconds to spare). Team and overall results are here.
Here I am chilling with Dan Lehmann after the race. Dan is the founder of the WVMTR and the race director of Highland Sky 40, as well as being my trail buddy...we always run near one another in races. Bill Potts, another WVMTR elite, took these photos and crewed for us after he ran the Uwharrie 20 in some sick fast time. Thanks, Bill!
Now, onto recovery for Holiday Lake on February 16!