My first goal is to have fun. My second goal is to finish. My third goal is to run under 9 hours.
You would think a goal time of 9 hours, which equates to a 13:30 pace, would be easy, right? In fact, 10 or 11 minute miles on trails, which is a 6 hr 40 min – 7 hour 20 min run, shouldn’t be out of reach, right? I just run sub 9 minute miles on a 10 mile trail run at Little River.
Well, Uhwarrie is Uhwarrie:
And while those “hills” don’t amount to much, compared to certain other races, they certainly begin to take their toll. Maybe it’s not the elevation overall, but the steepness. That plus the ruggedness of the trail — the rocks, the stream crossing with no bridges, the mud, when it is wet, which it will be tomorrow, certainly add to the pace degrading qualities of the run!
Last year I ran 7 hours 57 minutes, on a course that was shortened to about 38 miles. At mile 14, they sent us down 5 miles of gravel road instead of the 6 remaining miles of trail. I distinctly recall my pace as shown on the Garmin going from something like a 12:30 to 11:40 over the 5 miles to the turn around. So change the 5 miles of easy road running to 6 miles of hard trail running, and 9 hours may not have been out of reach last year, though it would have been close!
And now, on to the weather. Here’s the forecast:
Certainly looks a little wet! And chilly at the start. (Though not this chilly!) That much rain will make for a very muddy course, I’m sure.
Looking forward to it. 🙂