|Photo by WeRunHuntsville|
While Raccoon Mtn is a great place to run, it is the least favorite day of the 3-day stage race. This year for an even greater reason. Within the first 100' everyone is sloppy wet, so much so that people had air bubble trapped in the back of their shorts...even those chic's in the skin tight shorty shorts. The first few miles are uneventful except for the fact that everyone's breathing sounded like a dirty movie being heard on XM radio. It was equivalent to running at elevation without the bathing in a cesspool feel. I tried to run as steady as possible knowing that Day 2 and 3 would be the toughest. I was ok until....
Well if you have ever read any of my race reports you know what happened around mile 7.
So I peel off the trail and lay some twizzlers and lose 5 minutes of precious race time. I hit the trail and begin to press hard knowing I have a lot of time to make up on a shorter course. As we move further around the mountain some sections greet us with a light breeze, however, for the most part we were breathing water saturated oxygen.
The one thing I like about this course is knowing that my watch will show around 2 miles shorter than the advertised distance. Right at the end, before the paved road I see people walking (who obviously don't know the finish is around 1/4 mile. I pass 4 people and one of tri-short chics in a sports bra. Still I was 13 minutes over my previous years time.
Coolest part of the race was Randy Whorton racing me to the finish. Well this is the point where I would move on to day 2 and 3...I need to tell you about 3 people.
|Randy Whorton- WeRunHuntsville|
-FANCY PANTS: You ever seen "that guy" that comes to a race in a colorful tri outfit with a posse and does the Runner's World photo shoot stretches? Well you shoulda met fancy. Actually, he turned out to be pretty cool so i'm gonna go easy on him.
-BUTT-BRA DUDE: Remember how I said everyone was soaking wet. This one dude's shorts were so wet and tight that his meat curtains looked like they were filled with jelly-fish in a sports butt-bra.
-THE MOONER: So I'm at the finish and there is this dude in something like jogging pants... You know how when you stick your hands down the back of your pants to scratch? Well he had both butt-cheeks showing. Then all of a sudden, two fingers on each hand breached the canyon walls and began to scratch his brownie dispenser. I PROMISE THIS HAPPENED! I only waited around long enough to see if he would sniff his fingers or not...
|Janice and I|
After day 1 I almost decided to drop out of the race. My calf is still injured from Thunder Rock 100, my joints were aching and I just wanted to sleep. So glad I didn't. My plan was to just run easy to make it to day 3...However, that plan went out the window as soon as we heard "Go!" The goal at Lula Lake is to start quick enough to get to the single track and rope climb without being caught in the stanky train. I see Randy at the top of the rope climb and I yell..."Randy, I love you!", he replies..."In a physical way?", some guy down the path yells back..."This is Lookout Mtn, not Brokeback Mtn!" Priceless sir.
Once on top of the ridge, Tony Scott and myself alternated walking and running the steady climb to conserve as much as possible. As soon as we turned to drop off we dropped the hammer and took advantaged of the controlled fall. All of a sudden I started feeling great and decided to go for it. Through the single track and back across the bridge to my adoring fans (the lil kid picking his nose and handing out cups) and across the road to lay a big kiss on Roy Tamez's hot wife! Pretty sure she slipped me the tongue.
|Daniel Lucas- WeRunHuntsville|
The trails on this section are simply wonderful. Taking a E-Gel every 45 minutes I felt the energy and stayed steady, yet pushing on the down sections. I make the big climb to the 2nd aid station and Michael Scott yells at me and tells me that Christy Scott (not his wife) is just in front of me. He also stated that she said something to the effect that my vag was hurting and I needed to man up. Does that sound like Christy? Anyway, Fancy Pants catches me and I'm like "BULL CRAP" so I press even harder. I am passing dingleberry's left and right and make it to the lush single track and Fancy Pants passes me. I repay him by singing "Here's you're one chance Fancy don't let me down", made famous by Reba McEntire.
Just before we come out of the woods and down to the start/finish area I clip my toe on a root and realize I jacked it up. Across the road and another smooch from Roy's wife, I see my Angel off to the side, I feel great, and I cross the bridge to complete the last 4 miles. 10 steps run, 10 steps walk up the big hill. To the top and a hard run down the mountain, through the finish line with a 6 minute PR from the previous year.
Ok you ready for another Character?
-THE HANDLER: So we are standing at the start awaiting go, when I see one of the shirtless wonders in some Eric Charette style shorts fondling his acorn...I don't mean a lil scratch or a drive-by repositioning. I mean direct contact marble rolling for like 30 seconds.
I get to Signal Mtn fearing what is to come. The most rugged trails of the race. Unfortunately for me, people recognized me from the previous days...not for my blog or my good looks, rather, I was a little gassy and I had gotten to the point where I didn't care anymore. Man or Woman, Little people or Asian, I was letting them fly. I did apologize before each one though. I begin to descend Mushroom Rock, across the bridge and back up. Everyone seems tired, yet in a pretty good mood. I am feeling unusually good at this stage and just go with it. Down to Suck Creek and turn and head back up. I love this section because on the way down you see your fast friends and on the way up you see your friends you are spanking. After breaching Mushroom Rock we veer right along the ridge.
|Sinith Suong- WeRunHuntsville|
Unlike the previous days I catch Christy early and we run together for a while. We hit the aid station at the lookout point and quickly head back out. This is the longest 2.4 miles in the history of 2.4 miles. Beautiful single, rocky, rhythm busting single track all the way to the stair case from HELL! While in this section Fred Doss and I make up a parody song called "Broken Arms" (Open Arms) We climb to the top and friggin awesome Sarah Woerner greets me. Christy and I fight over the orange popsicle and we head up the road. I steal some little girls lemonade and let her brother hose me off before I pass the nursing home to which I give a shout out to the residents. I think one of them shot me a bird...not real sure. Can they do that?
Like the day before, I feel great at this point and begin to press hard on the trails. Then I hit my toe again and am pretty confident the toenail is somewhere in my sock. Yet I press on cause Fred is hot on my hairy-cakes. Through the stale river section I finally make it to the last aid station. 3 hours and 30 minutes have elapsed and I have 3.6 miles to the finish. I gave it everything I had to break 4 hrs. At one point on the down sloping sections my watch showed a 5:45 pace. I ran as hard as I could but came in at 4:03 which was still an 11 minute PR from the previous year.
I posted on my Facebook that after events like this, I get a little sad when I reach home. I absolutely love the community and the new friends that I make.
So after some hand showers with the hose pipe, we head to Shuford's BBQ on Signal Mtn Road. Friggine great BBQ. These 3 people walk in and one of the guys looks at me and says..."I know you, are you Cary? You were the guy fartin all over the trails."
Thank you Wild Trails and Rock/Creek for putting on amazing races and allowing me to be on your team.
|Joel Meridith- WeRunHuntsville|
|Nathan Holland- WeRunHuntsville|