April 10, I ran the race director's volunteer version of the 'Forget the PR 50K'. This run is the week before the actual race where some 250+ runners will toe the line. This version saw approximately 13-15 on the line.
My race started earlier then the main group. I needed to get done and back home to get Betty and the lasagna to the finish before the others got there.
5:20 AM (Start to Fire Tower) I took off with flashlight in hand from Mohican Adventures. It was really enjoyable to run in the dark and it was dark. Arrived at Big Ass Hill, which did not look so big in the dark. It felt big as I trudged up it thinking about the next round. There are 3 major climbs before arriving at the fire tower. These really weaken the legs making one really tried. With the 3 hills my time was not to bad to this point.
I decided to try some game plans for preparation of the Mohican Trail 100. I was not concerned with overall time, just carrying out my practice run in preparation for the 100 miler. I included several ideas that I have not used before and I would tell you what my new thoughts were but these are classified and might benefit a competitor (TOP SECRET).
From the fire tower to the covered bridge I arrived in 2 hours. The main group of runners have not taken off yet from Mohican Adventures, they were to start at 7:30 AM. It was 49 degrees when I left at 5:20 AM.
Covered bridge into the purple loop or better known as the Lyons Falls loop. It was nice and peaceful through this section. I got to the dam and saw a person I knew and chatted for a few minutes. Then moved on up the hill towards the lodge past Avery Ball's former home. I did enjoy this section and just moved freely and plowed down to Big Lyons Falls were I ran into my friend and his friends again. They were impressed how quickly I descended into the falls. Chatted for about 5 minutes and moved on to the covered bridge.
Covered bridge to Mohican Adventures was pretty uneventful as I ran along the Mohican River, up North Rim Trail (think about that in another 13 miles) and back to the start/finish. Headed back out to do loop #2 and only 12 miles to go. I did refuel while at the car. It was getting much warmer and thankfully there was a nice wind.
As one can imagine, the thought of 'Big Ass Hill' was on my mind from the point of leaving Mohican Adventures. Yes Virginia there are sicko race directors that dwell in the misery of others. It isn't just the 1st hill that plays on ones mind but the two after that. My per mile time was 2 minutes slower than the 1st time through to the fire tower. After arriving to the fire tower I continue to the covered bridge and on to the finish line after go up the ascent of North Rim Trail. Time was 7:59:44. I probably shouldn't have spent so much time BS'ing on the purple loop.
I was pleased with how I felt after the run and my approach to running it run. It was nice to have the RD give us an award for completion, the coveted 'Forget the PR 50K Belt Buckle'. Thanks Rob for a splendid non event and the nice hospitality after.