Joe Parker decided to put this race together and it ended up being a much bigger event than he imagined. I remember talking with him two months before this run and he was guessing that maybe 10 friends would show up and run it. Well, it looked like about 90 runners showed up to run! About 20 of them were good running friends and I enjoyed spending some time together on the trails.
Joe just did an excellent job with this race and I would highly recommend it to any runner looking to enjoy a challenging 3 mile loop in the woods.
Training for the Iron Horse 100 in February forced me to use this one as a organized training run. I was still able to enjoy 10X 3 Mile loops in about 7:30. I would guess the elevation of each loop to be around 300 feet. Plenty challenging as the race unfolded. Not only were there hills, but snaky turns and plenty of roots & rocks. I never got bored as the terrain seemed to look different on each loop during the day.
It was very exciting to see our resident ultra massage therapist, Denise, out for her first trail race ever. She was planning on completing a 3 mile loop, but decided to go back out later and make it two! Doubling your distance on that rail is a lot to be proud of.
I started the run in my New Hoka One Ones and after 15 miles my butt was on fire! It's going to take some time to get used to these so I switched over to some Asic Gels. Within 5 miles I was cruising along, not wanting this run to end. It began to get dark on my final loop and I felt absolutely terrific. I had several 2nd thoughts about abandoning my training plan and running through the night, but decided to stay disciplined and stop at 30 miles. I knew that this loop would get much slower and more difficult at night so that made the decision a little easier.
The biggest suprise of the race came as Joe was marking the trail with glow sticks for the night runners. He handed me the phone and Dan H. was on the other side telling me that I had been picked in the Lotto For Western States! I was in complete shock and thought that it was all a big prank until I got home and checked to verify that it was true!
I can't wait to run the Epic 24 again next year and hope to be at a point to go for the full 24 hours.