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Monday, October 17, 2011

WV Trilogy 50K Race Report

WV Trilogy 50K It was a beautiful day on the trails in West Virginia. The first day of the Trilogy, for stage runners, is all about taking it easy. I started the day at an easy pace, and kept at this pace throughout the day.
We did the 5K loop around the Start/Finish Line, then we headed off to go down Cardiac Hill. It was a bit slick here with the leaves, and I just took it easy on this downhill. I caught up to Michelle here, and we would stay together for the rest of the race.



Michelle and I had both ran the 50K last year (same course this year) and we did alot of remembering small landmarks. After around mile 5, we hop onto Forest Road 112 and head down to the first AS.
 Even the road sections are pretty at The Trilogy

There are some large black animals around the Gateway Campground Sign-and as we get closer, we see these are actually cows! not bears. Apparently the front runner guys did encounter the bear. We get to the AS at Bee Run, and start through a meadow section.

I catch up to and pass some runners through here. I remember this section well, it's kind of overgrown with meadow grass and there are hidden rocks -. I encounter one and take a tumble into the high weeds.

We start on the many creek crossings too. I splash right through them, as there will be far more water crossings down the trail. Before I know it, we've hit another section of road, and then there is a big uphill climb, at mile 11, before we get to the "real pretty" part of the course. This is a very good, long section of uphill. I pass two women, and then Rhonda catches up to me, and we compare the uphill to various hills on the MMT Course.  



This is also where we pick up Suzie for the day too.

Michelle is slower on the climbs but always manages to catch up to us on the flats. Now we ware heading down the Allegheny Mountain Trail, where the evidence of the snow storm starts. Adam had warned us about the blowdowns on the trail, but was startling to see just how many trees were down. (One runner counted downed
trees on the 50 mile course, he reported over 200.) It was hard to get a running pace going. You could begin to run, but then would have to pick your way around, through, or over a tree. It didn't really bother us, because us four women were having a blast running together. One, I hardly ever run with other people, let alone females. It was just great running and chatting and sharing stories and info.
We then start down the infamous Horton Trail. I tell everyone it's real runnable, and they let me lead. But in the first 1/4 mile, there was not much running-more downed trees to climb over/around/through. We did use Adam's rope over the slick rock section, which signalled to me we were almost at the bottom.

We then turn to go now upstream on the Seneca Creek Trail, and take our time playing tourist with the stream and waterfalls.
 



 




We are then back at the Judy Springs Aid Station, for some more awesome quesadillas, and then we are off to the High Meadows Trail. Michelle and I have been talking up the Meadows view, and I don't think anyone was disappointed.

There is only one downside to bursting into the meadow-knowing you have to go through and UP and UP to the top of the meadow. But there was still plenty of time to admire the views.
After the High Meadow, there is about a 5 mile stretch on the Lumberjack Trail. I didn't like it last year at all, but I ran out of water and calories through here. This year, I found it slightly better, due to us four runners together. It did not seem as wet as the year before. Still, it's a trail with rocks and mud section that makes it hard to get into a running rhythm.
I stopped for a bathroom break and caught up to John, who had just passed by. John was hurting. This was John's first ultra. It was actually his longest distance past a 1/2 marathon! I told John he picked a really tough 50K to start with! I hung with John for a bit, trying to give him some encouragement and positive thoughts for this section.
We spin back out on the road and now it's less than 1/2 mile to the last aid station, and then about a 5K to the finish. I grab a couple cookies and take off on the downhill here. Although it's been a beautiful day on the trail, it's easy to get impatient on the last few miles. Cardiac Hill was just not as bad as I remember it. Perhaps somewhere, I have improved on my climbing ability.
I spot Rhonda just a bit ahead of me; but it's too big of a gap to give chase on. I was happy to see my finishing time of 8.08. Last year I finished in 8.57 I believe, so I shaved quite a bit off this year-without much effort.
A word that came into my head early on during this race was 'effortless'. I was running well and not exerting all that much effort. I was not slacking or walking where it was not necessary, but I was not 'racing' this either, due to the upcoming 50 mile race in the morning.
This was one of my most fun races I have had, thanks to the company of Michelle, Suzie, and Rhonda-thanks ladies!

4 comments:

  1. It was great running with you Kimba! Great race report. Hope I get to run with all of you at a trail run soon.

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  2. Kim - Yes i was hurting pretty badly. Apparently there is this thing called electrolytes that i didnt keep as close of an eye on as i should have. I really appreciated your encouragement and kindness. Glad to have met you and maybe i will see you there again next year

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  3. I am doing this race in two weeks and have a question. This will be my first 50K and judging from the pics it looks as if it's not really clear where the path is. Was it hard to stay on course? Just having last minute jitters I guess.

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  4. Miriam, it is a beautiful course and it will be well marked, you won't have any problems with that. Have fun!

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