The course did not disappoint either, it was a long, beautiful, challenging day of big climbs and rocky, technical descents. One of the craziest moments for sure was the climb up Breakneck Ridge, which involved straight up rock climbing. I have experience rock climbing, but there were times when I was afraid I might lose my grip and fall to my untimely death on this damn course. There was literally one climb I refused to attempt and took the extra time to detour around the side and find a more sane way to ascend.
But the big pay off though was the view from the top and a bagpiper playing tunes for us.
It was interesting to run such a tough race, probably the toughest I've ever run and see how my body and my mind would respond.
I gotta say, it wasn't that much different to running a less difficult race. I struggled with the same mind games, but with experience I knew to take it a little bit at a time, try to stay in the moment I was in and just keep moving forward however slow that might be.
There were definitely times when I felt discourage at the bottom of yet another impossibly steep hill, but I would just put my head down and take it one step at a time, slowly picking my way up little by little.
In the end I didn't do too bad, thankfully at about mile 20 or 22 the brutal climbing ended and we got to run along a ridge line for a couple of miles and then end with a 3 mile descent back into the start/finish area.
All and all it was a beautiful, tough, fun race and I will definitely be back to do it again next Spring. I finished the race in 8:48, feeling strong, which means next year I'm gonna have to push it even harder and see if I can beat that time. It was fun to hang out at the Start/Finish area afterwards on the sunny lawn eating pizza and catching up with new and old friends.