Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mount Mitchell Challenge

Descent into the clouds at the Mt Mitchell Challenge. This is VHTRC teammate Bryon Powell who I managed to finish with in 6:23. Results here

Running up the first 3 mile road climb out of the town of Black Mountain, NC
Heading up the early single track trail... runners in both the Challenge and the Marathon ran together

Heading up to the Blue Ridge parkway on a rocky jeep trail

Miles 14 and 26 at the aid station along the blue ridge parkway. Amazing views of the mountains and their fleeting cloud cover.

A view of the alpine woods approaching the summit. The trail is actually pictured...Can you see it? We hit the summit 3:45 in to the race.
Me at mile 22 with cloudy and fogged in Mt Mitchell in the back ground left. Photo by Brad Smythe
Happy at the beautiful finish line. I manged to soundly break 6:30 thanks to Goat Powell catching me 3 miles out from the finish and making me run 7:00 pace miles to close......what gives man? I don't breath hard in ultras!
VHTRC folks enjoying the beauty of Black Mountain at the finish: Loomis, Goat Powell, Gretchen Powell, and BTB C-ville Running Company teammate Mike Mason

Course Profile: 38 miles (21 miles climbing up to 6,684ft, then 17 mile descent)

Amazing Race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Mt Mitchell 40 is one of the coolest races I have ever done when taken as a whole:
1. Course location: Awesome highest mountain in the east coast
2. Course terrain: great mix of road, Jeep trail, runnable single track, super steep technical trail
3. Distance: advertised at 40 miles the 38 was more than enough. I love 50k-50mil distances!
4. Beauty: the views from the town of Black Mountain, along the ascent and descent and from the summit are unbelievable
5. Aid / support: the town was out cheering us on, the race had 9!! aid stations some of which were packed in and had campsites and fires going
6. Weather: Always iffy, but we lucked out temps 40-60 and no rain, hardly any ice at the summit, crazy gusting winds and cloud/fog made it interesting
7. Companionship on the trail: lots of good folks out there and 6 miles with (including a finish)buddy Bryon
8. Effort expended: Perfect...Hard but enjoyable. I took a lot of photos, had conversations and really enjoyed it, but was competitive with myself and others too. I had three really good pressing stretches: miles 14-20, 22-31, and 35-38
9. How I felt (GI issues, legs, lungs, mentality)- NO ISSUES! Great day. One pit stop, 1400 calories of clif shot blocks ingested; along with water and coke at the aid stations. Legs were strong and held up to the descent fine, altitude was noticeable miles 15-26 when we were above 5200ft. But it was not too much. Mentally I am happy to be fit enough to be running NEAR the front of the pack once again. 22nd of 122
All things considered it was the best ultra I have experienced in 6 years.


Anonymous said...

Wow ! BIG ONES ! keep files on the servers for future transfers
or sharing.

Trail Goat said...

What about the surprise bonus 4k race they hold at the end of the challenge? That was pretty sweet, too, huh? ;-) I think you tied for the win in that one.

Bedrock said...

Nice job. I love running on that course since it is only a couple of hours away but have yet to run the event due to schedule. You fast guys continue to amaze me. See you at Bel Monte.


Greg "Loomdog" Loomis said...

wow, what a beautiful course! Training there will definatley help you out for any course. See you at Bel Monte!