Running up Calloway is my favorite “run,” with “run” definitely in quotation marks because if I can average around 18 minute miles, I’m pretty happy. 🙂 Whenever we are in the Boone area, I try to hit this trail. In fact, one year I summited Calloway 12 tiimes!
When I heard Tanawah Adventures somehow got a permit to hold a trail race here, I was astounded. But excited! The race would be The Profile Trail to the summit of Calloway Peak, then down the back side using a combination of Daniel Boone, Nuwati, and Cragway, then back to the top, and back down. A total of nearly 15 miles and 4500′ of climb and descent.
It would be my 1st race since the ankle injury back in May. I had previewed the course three weeks prior and came in at 3 hrs 53 minutes (definitely trying not to push too hard). I thought anything under that would be good, as I thought my preview might not have been the full course. Turns out race day would stop at the old trail head, about a half mile short of the new one, but would also start about a third of a mile further from the new trail head, so nearly a wash.
The first thing that surprised me was that we’d be starting in 3 waves, with your bib number being assigned based on your ultra sign up ranking. I came in at 57 out of 150 runners, so did not make the 1st wave! That told me the level of runner in this race was going t o be up there. And instantly out of the gate people were flying towards the trail. I wanted to get towards the front of my wave and pass a few of those in the 1st wave, as once you hit the single track and climbs, passing would be a lot of work.
I’ll keep it short and just say I ran very well, but was amazed at how well so many other people handled this brutal course! I came in at 3:28, 25 minutes faster than my preview time, and much faster than I thought I could run it. So I was happy. (I think I was 47th so I moved up a little!)
Here I am coming down the backside. Pictures never do justice to the steepness — but trust me this is steep!
As I was waiting at the finish I heard from Kelly that she had slipped and hurt her knee. Eventually she made it to the medics and they wrapped her knee and gave her a 2nd pole to come down on. I ran up to the car, grabbed some warm clothes and food, and headed out to meet her. I then came in the last 1.5 – 2 miles with her. Turns out she tore her ACL — completely off the femur — but was still able to finish! But she will need surgery. 😦
Here are my lap times:
And Strava race analysis — a little faster on the 2nd half, but I think the climb is a little easier on the backside.