Miles 0 to 61
It was going to be a hot day out on the course. We got started promptly at 0510. Hummpff..Lots of chatting and bantering as we ran through the campground and onto the main road. We turn onto the first side road and a huge 1/2 mile or so hill oblingly pushes everyone down into a nice walk up the hill. Except my friend Jerry, who yells at me as he runs up the hill and disapears for the day. Jerry came in 2nd place for the race, I am so happy for him!!
The first ten miles are just country back roads, rolling hills. New runners to the Mohican course comment on the amount of hills. Yes, and that's not all of them. Mohican really is a series of ups and downs. I guess I don't think about them because I run on them so much. And that's probaly why I don't like flat courses because I don't have so much oppourtunity to walk!!
We get to Rock Point Aid Station and turn off onto the first of the trail section..it's very well marked thanks to Mike and Glenn.
I must have been running a bit faster than my slowpoke normal pace because Aid Station workers would comment on my good time. I need to work better at chatting less at aid stations, but it's hard, because I do know bunches of people, and most of them I haven't seen in months. Maybe I need to go run up north with them so I can socialize then and just focus on the race.
Although not as hot and humid as last year, it was still hot. I was carrying a handheld and another bottle at my waist. I couldn't seem to drain both bottles between aid stations, kind of unusual for me. As a result, I was not having to pee so much. I kept trying to work on that, monitoring my hands swelling and taking my Succeed caps on schedule.
The orange loop followed the green section this year, and I headed down to the Grist Mill at the heat of the day. It was nice to have to the new trail section created for us, to keep runners off Route 3 during the day and night. I found Wendy at the Grist Mill and dropped my stuff with her, since the small loop behind the Grist Mill is 7/10 of a mile. I ran that in 11 minutes, checked over the meager food at the Aid Station. I saw a 1/2 eaten burger and thought, wow burgers!! Nope. Someone had a little stand selling burgers. I remarked to my friend Frank that I wasn't carrying my credit card with me, so I made due with some Ensure and ClifShot Bloks, yummy lunch there, picked up my stuff and headed out again.
This section of the orange takes you along the river, back to the Covered Bridge, where you ford the river. I tried my Tom Jennings Crossing Gear, but I either got a hole in them, or the water spilled over, so I knew I was going to have to sit at the Covered Bridge and do the sock/shoe change.
I was about ready to leave when Andrew came in and said hello to him. I headed out on the blue loop, the prettiest part of the race.
There were no other runners in front or behind me, so I missed the usual incredulous comments about running (actually hopping over rocks and the stream, climb over logs) up to Little Lyons Falls. I had to share the climb up with a tourist who was coming down; we had an impasse for a minute and then I just climbed up around him. Was he running a race that day??? I stopped in the real restroom at the dam to fill up my water bottles again; I knew I was going to be on about one mile of road, uphill, so I had tied my bandanna around my head and dumped a bottle of water on it to cool me down. Andrew ran by as I was filling bottles at the water fountain, and I yelled if he needed more water, here was a spot, but he waved and continued on. I followed him and quickly caught up to him as we started the long uphill. Andrew is from Alabama and Mohican had more hills than he had expected. We chatted all the way up the hill, dodging inconsiderate drivers. We turned back onto the trail, which, since we climbed the hill, now we descended the hill down to Big Lyons Fall. It was nice to run with someone new (apparently I am not new to Andrew, since he reads my blog yet leaves no comment love!!!) and we were getting along great. I don't think Andrew was eating/drinking enough and tried to encourage him to do so. He started making sounds about stopping at Covered Bridge, and I got my stuff ready as I watched him sit down and get his stuff together. Andrew said he was just going to sit in the shade for awhile, and I told him, if you stay here, you know what was going to happen. I know he was dehydrated and had too much sun, but I wanted to coax him along as much as possible. He still was saying he was going to sit in the shade as we crossed the road and started up the red section hill.
Now maybe this was a bit mean of me, but I didn't tell him what a big hill the first climb is. I tried to distract him with chatter about the trail. He still managed to notice how tall the climb was.
Somewhere after the top of the hill he told me to go on, so I reluctantly left him. Then he caught up to me as I stopped for a potty break at the side of the road, and we ran and walked along together. I told him it was only 2.5 miles to Bridle Staging Area. Around here Tom caught up to us, and I tried to keep my swelled head on the trail as the two of them showered me with compliments. (That's actually a really nice way to run, with two men saying how wonderful you are!) I stopped for a potty break at Bridle, and Andrew again said to go on without him. Wendy gave me a slice of pizza as I went by, and then a woman popped out of a van and asked me if I had ever gotten my hamburger. I said no, and she gave me a McDonald's cheeseburger! This was Frank's wife, and she rocks!!!
So I got into the aid station with all this food I mooched along the way, it was hilarious. Andrew tried a bite of pizza, then refused it when we dropped it on the ground. I took a bite though! We started out on this section together and he again told me to go on, so I did. I knew he would get to Rock Point and probably drop, and that was too bad, but he wasn't sure he could do the Red and Orange Sections again at night.
As soon as I left Andrew, I had a serious bonk. I started having negative thoughts, didn't feel good, wasn't running so much. I tried to get away from the thinking and concentrate on where I was on the trail. I ate more and drank more, but was still rather dispirited. My Tom Jennings water crossing gear failed at the third water stop, I think I sprung a leak. Oh well, that was fine. I had a blister on the side of my heel I needed to bandage so I might as well change socks.
I get to Rock Point and sit down and do the tedious wipe off the feet and dry them, and then figure out how to tape them. I should have brought more tape. As I finishing up, I really must have done that section slowly, because Andrew caught up to me at the Aid Station. And ladies, maybe this is southern manners, because Andrew sat down in the dirt at my feet and helped me put my socks and shoes back on! I haven't had any Yankee men do that for me! I felt I could sit there and chat more with Andrew, but I knew I needed to get down the trail. So I told him I would see him in the morning, and started back down the green section.
I think this is where my bonk on the red, and the blister first aid, and googling at Andrew, cost me a bit of time. I had lights in my drop back at the Fire Tower-about nine miles away. None at Rock Point. It was heading toward evening, but I thought I would be fine to get to the Fire Tower.
I checked through South Park Aid Station and started on the next 4.5 miles. It was now getting dark. This is where it helped me to know the trails so well. I ended up running/walking these miles in the dark, no lights. My own damn fault. I should have put a light in the drop bag at Rock Point, for just in case. I know I slowed way up walking/jogging my way through here in the dark. I was proud though, I never got off trail once, never fell.
I hit the Fire Tower Aid Station and kind of surprised them when I strolled in without a light.