My time was 2:55:43, which was almost 4 minutes faster than last year when my training was limited by recovering from the Pine to Palm. My training this year didn't seem on track when I stuggled through a long run a month ago. But between that, some good speed work with the cross-country team, and some practice running fast down John's Peak everything came together well.
Bull Gap trail
I had a couple of women breathing down my neck for miles until they passed me towards the end of the initial 8 mile uphill. I passed them back on the relatively flat middle section. I really blazed the last few miles. I passed one guy as he fell (not my fault, really!) I passed another guy a mile from the finish but my 5:27 per mile pace on the down-hill stretch to the finish wasn't fast enough to hold him off and he passed me back and finished 23 seconds ahead of me.
Eric Skaggs (4th) and Tribbia (3rd) at a tropical aid station a few minutes before I got there.
A fellow runner contemplating his choice of Saturday recreation.
Jen at mile 15
There was snow falling and an inch or 2 on the ground at the higher elevations. The footing was a little icy over some old tire tracks. The worse part was the wind. But I think snow is much better than near-freezing rain. I didn't sweat much at all, which made managing fluids much easier. I found warming the gel-packs in my gloves helped soften them to make them easier to squeeze.
Tim Olson and I passed each other a couple of times, and I saw Emily's "brother" Jeff working an aid station, so the Olse/on's were well represented.
Fast Sundays are more of a challenge the day after a long run- I crave calories more than usual, and not eating seems to make me more sore. But all pain is temporarly, and in this case has plenty of purpose. And I'll be more than ready for a good run long before the Thanksgiving Run!