hey! well, the month of July has found me training for my next ultra Cheat Mtn Moonshine Madness 50, running some shorter, more fun races, and getting every detail completed in my preparations for CTR 10k. The 10k I RD in memory of my brother Todd, and is the main fundraiser for an academic scholarship in his honor.
The bear run is held at Linville, NC at the base of Grandfather Mtn.
It's run at the same time as the Highland Games, and many scottish and irish ( american) clans camp out and have all sorts of competitions and celebrate their celtic heritage.
It's a VERY scenic run STRAIGHT uphill. for 5 miles. not joking. It's pretty tough! this race fills really early ( like may) 800 people ran this year. and you can't buy or trade bibs, state police are there at the start making sure no one is banditing the race. They don't mess around!
start of the race
I sat in traffic for 4 miles bumper to bumper from boone to linville. I was so nervous about even MAKING it to the race. I finally arrive at the field where they are parking everyone. Get my number, realize I FORGOT MY SOCKS!!! doh! so I just rubbed blister shield on my feet and taped up the back of my heels with athletic tape so my rogue racers wouldn't rub a blister.
on my way to get to the portapotty, I found two of my great friends Hank and Natalie ( who are the RD's of some killer races: " crazy 8's, white lightening bike race, race for the cure 5k, haunted half marathon" etc. GREAT people. Love them! Natalie was dressed up in the spirit of the Highland games and I really need to remember to do that next year!
one of my favorite things about this race is that you get to run up "Forest Gump Curve" The movie Forest Gump was filmed here for a scene when he was running.
Okay, so the race started and I felt WAY back.. the race was chip timed but no mat at the start?? so really what's the point? it felt like FOREVER just getting to the start line, and there was a BAD bottle neck kept waiting for things to thin out.. I got to run uphill about 5k, ran through the highland games ( which was a RUSH) everyone cheering and giving you high 5's ( offering you beer) I passed Ed Marsh, and then met up with Ashely Funderbunk, this cool ultra running chick from Charlotte, NC that I knew beth was buddies with and we ran together alot. then you continue to climb for 2 more very steep miles to the summit at the mile high swinging bridge. ( yeah the race thinned out big time here, I finally got my elbow room) I was SUPER surprised once I crossed the line to get a mug for being in the top 40 women ( who knew? I sure felt like I like 600th!)
So I was pretty happy with my swag! I rode the bus down with my buddy Doug Blackford whom I NEVER saw during the race because he was a gazillion light years ahead of me. Doug realized he had left his drop bag on top of the mtn and had to ride back up, so instead of meeting the gang for pizza in blowing rock, I headed back home to bristol via 421. ( and got so car sick I had to stop twice to puke) never going that way again.
Then this past tuesday I got to run wolf run 7 miler at Bays mtn. This years race was pretty rough. It was 88F and 96% humidity at the start. I think it just made for brutal conditions! I know I suffered during that race! ( even though it was short and over in an hour) You trade off the short races for WAY faster and far more intense. I ended up 6th overall female and won my age group. ( YAY! another pint glass) Ran 3 or 4 min slower than last year ( it was way cooler last year) I hate I'm not going on and on about wolf run. It was AWESOME to see so many of my road and trail running friends from SWVA and NETN, but seriously just concerning the race: it was fast, it was hot, there is a MONSTER climb at mile 2, that you never really recover from, and I suffered the whole race and was happy to finish. :oP but the social aspect was awesome. lol. here is a picture of me finishing Wolf Run.
So now I'm just pretty much focusing on my training, getting things ready for CTR10k on august 13th and then running Cheat mtn 2 weeks later on august 26th. My birthday is the 22nd so I just pretty much look at Cheat as my birthday run and my way to reward myself:o)
I really feel Todd's race is going to be the best yet this year. It's in the evening this year, and I got alot of positive feedback because of the time change, so hopefully that will translate in a rise in #'s!