I did the 50k last year and wasn't really crazy about it probably because of the cold, mud and everyone in my little group was only doing the 25k, so I ran the second loop by myself. I made the decision to do the 25k for 2 reasons 1) this is a very challenging course and I really wanted to go for time, see if I can run it fast 2) it was Palm Sunday and I wanted to spend time with the family.
Last year for the first loop, I did 3:13:58 with the second loop at 4:11:32, I set a time goal of under 3 hours, most of the loop is actually runnable but there are so many hills and it is either your legs hold up or they don't. Oh what can I say about Salt Run trail, it is the last 3.5+ miles, hilly and extremely challenging, complete mental toughness.
Had to change things around the night before after I found out the temperature was only going to be 38 degrees, but I still decided to represent Grunt Girl so had my long sleeve GG top, with arm warmers underneath my Nordic Track long bra top (really love this things) and my Nike dri-fit tights. I love wearing colorful outfit but after putting this together realize I was in all black so added on my blue Brooks Run Happy Beanie. I had Hammer Perpetuem in my nathan handheld with 1 chocolate gu tucked in the pouch.
Woke up at 5:30am and had the coffee on, got ready to go down early since I still had to pickup my race bib, the weather was cold but I felt comfortable I was tempted to put on another layer but decided against it since I know I was going to heat up fast. I picked up my packet and was disappointed in getting a white Asics long sleeve tee, nothing against the company was just disappointed it was white, last year we got a beautiful magenta color north face short sleeve tee still one of my favorite.
Took my stuff back to the car and closed my eyes for a while, still had 1 hour before race start. I headed back out with 15mins to the race after sucking on 1 chocolate gu (breakfast was Honey stinger waffle with peanut butter) and ran into lots of trail buddies, it is always good to see everyone, then the race director made his announcement, we sang the national anthem then we were off.
We start off on the yellow loop and every thing felt fine, I got pass or pass running friends we chatted then go our separate ways, towards the end of mile 2 I got passes by Roy, I know Roy is fast but he is doing the 50k so I decided to run and chat with him seeing if I can last at least a mile, let's just say I was going for broke, I did pretty well but there was no way I was able to keep up once we got to the ledges, so I let Roy go and dropped the pace a bit, crazy running my 5k pace during a 25k trail race.
Felt great getting to the first aid station since I still had fuel in my handheld decided not to stop and continued on, took a Gu since I can of realized I was bonking before starting Boston Run, a lot of people like this trail but I always feel claustrophobic, Glenn was out as the course marshal so you don't take the short cut, I really want to get out of here, thank God finally out, stop at the aid station to refill my handheld and grab an hammer gel packet and kept on moving. I know Salt Run is going to be tough so need to bank as many minutes as possible.
Didn't stop at the next aid station, thanked the volunteers and just kept on moving, Salt Run is just around the corner, after climbing a nasty steep hill, the teaser you can see the finish but Salt run awaits. With almost 4 miles to do at Salt Run the deal is to come off the hills and to start back running unfortunately it is a continuous set of hills and you start seeing people walking and you want to join them but you really have to keep running. I had to keep moving, legs really felt good but really getting tired of climbing, finally pass the guy I have been chasing so really want to stop and walk but only 20 mins left and can't remember the exact distance I know there is at least 2 more hills before the picnic table, almost there.
Finally out of Salt Run need to run across the field, saw Debra and her kids waiting for me, so happy to be and Yes under 3 mins.