Monday, November 8, 2010
The Mountain Masochist 50 ++ mile adventure!
I was toying with the idea of running the Mountain Masochist trail run (MMTR) for the past few weeks - this is #4 on the Montrail Cup series. Knowing that this would not be an "A" race, but more of an adventure race, social race, to get a chance to hang out with the famous Dr. David Horton, I jumped on board and drove the 9 hours to Lynchburg, VA. What a WONDERFUL TIME I had. Not just the race, but all the celebration around it couldn't have been better. It is obvious why the MMTR is a true success year after year.
Mountain Masochist trail run has been around since 1983. It is 50 "Horton" miles point to point trail run through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Horton, meaning that there are more miles than 50. 52, 53...somewhere around there. Looking at the map on this blog, you can see that this is a challenging run, considered one of the most challenging on the east coast - I will have to agree! Not in just elevation climbs but technical in certain parts as well. Many will say that the race does not start until Long Mountain - at mile 27, where the serious climbs begin. Serious climbs, with amazing views.
This event started out with a wonderful prerace meal on Friday night - a chance to meet many amazing athletes, sharing stories, getting geared up for a challenging race the next morning. This is a very social race with many participants returning year after year. I can see why - organization and volunteers are phenomenal and a crucial part in making this race successful. From all the Montrail races I have done, that is one consistency and one reason why they are so successful - well thought out races.
Getting back to my weekend adventure - I drove in from New York on Thursday (9 hours!) to go straight to Dr. David Horton's class at Liberty University. Never have I seen so many young college kids with so much enthusiasm to run. Come to find out, a good portion of them are running the MMTR. Dr. Horton sure is making a huge impact on his community - the vibe is strong!
I knew the temps would be cold, but I also knew the climbs would be many, so I opted to wear my Mountain Hardwear Geist jacket with the Mountain Hardwear wicken lite long sleeve, capri's and of course the Mountain Masochist shoes. Perfect, never needed to change a thing - even at Long Mountain where the higher elevation and cooler temps start to set in.
This is a run where with all the climbs, you would think your quads would be sore, but as you can see in the climbs, there are more ups than downs. For me, my calf muscles were sore, my quads felt fine!
A couple of moments that stood out during the run - the beauty of the trees from the top, the "Rocky" theme song that echoed throughout the hills beyond the half way point, and of course, the potatoes at the aid stations from the miles beyond 27 (forgot to refuel my gel stash! geez!). A quick note on the aid stations - phenomenal! Fully stocked and many on the course. Never did my handheld make it to empty.
As I approached the finish, a man yelled out "you are a football field away" - he was seriously wrong. Knowing that yes, this was already more than 50, messing with me at the end was just not right!
I had no idea what place I was in. The pressure was not there since I knew to pace myself to be able to save the legs for the "A" races. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I was the second female - thought for sure I was a few beyond! And because this race is a Montrail Cup 50 miler, the first two get into Western States! Woo Hoo!
The post race celebration was awesome! From Friday, to Sunday...it was a full celebration of health, camaraderie, and fun fun fun! Dr. Horton, you are an inspiration! Montrail Masochist, thanks for serving my feet well...now for the next one....
For those who are looking for a great 50 miler on the east coast, I would recommend MMTR. I hope to be back!
A challenging course, with beauty all around! Another 10 for Montrail races! Thank you Clark Zealand, Race Director, for putting your heart and soul into MMRT!