I had created my splits for the AS for The Ring:
Camp Roo 1400 Actual time in: 1431
Very pleased with this. Running 12/13 miles between AS,during some of the hottest times of the day, and to only be 31 minutes on my predicted split; excellent
Crisman AS 1730 Actual Time in: 1750.
Made up a little time here 20 minutes off original plan. Slim and I caught up to Jeff here, and spent some trail time with him, before hitting the nice down hill to take advantage of the last glimmer of daylight.
Moreland Gap: 1940 Actual time in: 2014 34 minutes back
It is a bit odd, when you have run this trail, both backwards and forwards, and then during the MMT Race you start it at a different point. So perspective is a bit out of whack. Slim had to almost paint me a picture of 'here's the road, this is where we picked up the trail' before I got my "aha" moment.
Edinburgh 2225 AActual Time in: 2324 59 minutes back. This was Short Mountain, and it seems like my slowest time. It takes a little used to, getting used to the rocks again, at night. But I had much more confidence in myself and where the rock path would be, and didn't spend time looking for orange "M Dot" blazes so much.
Woodstock 0200 Actual Time in: 0249 49 minutes Edinburg to Woodstock, this was my toughest area. Despite being over this terrain, nothing seemed familiar. My heels were bugging me; the rocks were tedious; and I was a bit bored.
Bored, in the middle of the night, you say? Well, after tripping through lots of the same rocks, even the skunks and the snakes were the only thrilling things. I am sure I was a bit being on nutrition, which always contributes to a drop in blood sugar, which results in a drop of morale,well being, etc, etc, during an ultra.
And all I wanted to do was get to Powell's Fort. Because that was the last Aid Station..before Signal Knob (no AS there) but once tackling Signal Knob,it's all downhill to the finish!
But that statement of 'all downhill to the finish' doesn't mean much coming off Signal Knob,unfortunately.
Powells 0400 Actual Time in: 0448 48 minutes I made up some time here, from Woodstock to Powells. This is understandable because it's pretty good footing (meaning unrocky) and a bit of a net downhill to Powells. This is also where Slim picked me up from the Woodstock AS and we stayed together for the whole section. My, does night time running go better when it's done with a friend. I was getting tired, and silly, and it's so much easier to ramble on, to pick up old conversations and phrases left from '40 miles ago' and continue a conversation.
Finish: 0635 on my splits Actual Finish: 25 hours 1 minute. But is that with a 7 am start or a 710 start?
Who knows, who cares. I did think about the descent off Signal Knob. It's all the loose rocks that scare me and slow me down. There were many instances were I got off-kilter because of loose footing. Doing the Reverse Ring, running down into Elizabeth Furnance, there were not the loose rocks, hence it seems to be, an easier finish than The Ring.
So sign me up Bur, Quatro, for the Reverse Ring. I can't help it, I really enjoy/like/love the MMT Trail.