Wow, it's only been a week, and the whole great weekend at the Mountain Institute seems like a fond, distant memory already.
I had found out there was dorm bed space available at the Mountain Institute for 15 bucks a night. I wish I had known this ahead of time, I would have not even brought the tent!
Since I got back to TMI much quicker than planned, I broke camp and packed up my vehicle. I paid for a bed bunk for the evening, so that I would be able to leave more quickly after the 1/2 marathon on Sunday.
I didn't feel too badly on Sunday. The quads were quite stiff. I was hoping the little 5k loop that we started on would loosen them up. Especially for the downhill on Cardiac Hill.
The little 5K loop did help, and I was able to run down Cardiac Hill. AND I knew I had to go back up this freaking hill, AGAIN!
I had not looked at the 1/2 marathon course at all. So I did not know there would be two out and backs. While I am not a fan of 'out and backs' by this time, after running 3 days, it was nice to see other runners out there. A special shout out goes to both the other Trilogy runners, and also other WVMT runners-many of whom were working the AS all weekend, and running their event on Sunday-these were the folks that got the most shoutouts from me!
Since I had not bothered to look at the course, I had no idea of how far I had got along. We ran up a real big hill, ran around a pretty female 'cone' and started back down the hill. There was an AS (kind of like a regular 1/2 marathon AS, just water, gatorade, and some Snickers bars.) I grabbed two of these bite sized bars. I had eaten two gels (the only two I had carried) because I was really getting hungry. And tired.
I got off the road, back onto some single track. I had to climb up and over several fences. This was tiring-and hard, on some really tiring quads.
I came along fellow WVMTR Dan Todd, taking pictures on the trail. I asked him how far I was along on the course. He said he thought maybe 9 miles. Then I came upon the last AS soon after this. Imagine my delight when I asked them how far to go-they said 1.5 MILES! Woohoo! 1.5 miles, after my longass weekend! No problem!
Well, except for Cardiac Hill.I took Mark McK's example and got myself a hiking stick. This really helped get me up this hill. I was very tired at this point.
I got to the top and here I go again. Last chance downt this trail. The Trilogy is growing to a close. There is an older gentleman in front of me. He's held me off, the whole second half of this race.I bet he doesn't know I've already run 50 miles prior to this race...I can't catch him...
I run, downhill, and Adam catches me.....
And just like that, the Trilogy is over! I'm returned as a mere mortal, feeling guilty spending so much time away from home. I do have some great lunch, a pig roast, put on by the Mountain Institute, before I quickly say good bye and head on a five plus hour (there's no quick way around in WV) home.
This was a most excellent, special weekend. I think it was a combination of the people, the area, the scenery, the trails, the committed effort every Trilogy Runner had to give. I learned alot on this weekend. I think Stage Races are HARD! And I think I learned a bit about running in a stage race. This is another great race put on by the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners-thank you ALL for your dedication and enthusiam this weekend-I had a most excellent time!