February 2010
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Month February 2010

Mount Mitchell Challenge: press & pics

I survived! Still writing the race report, but there’s been so much great press about the race I thought I’d compile some here and get it up now. stay tuned…

Rock/Creek Pres Release

Photos by Chris Brown
Pics by Wilderness Adventure Photography
Post-race article from Asheville Citizen Times
Pics from the Asheville Citizen Times
Pics from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
Pics from Steppe’s Gap

the summit, 24 hrs before the big day

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1292133796988&ref;=mf

Kicking off the race season, Southern-Style

Sunday kicked off the 2010 Rock/Creek Trail Series, with the 2nd annual Southern 6 hosted on the beautiful Biology Trails of Southern Adventist University. The school is located in Collegedale, east of Chattanooga. Not near Lookout, Raccoon or Signal Mtns and not as far as Cherokee, but fear not: those ridges in the hills over there are something to respect!

Our random weather patterns actually worked in our favor today, with gorgeous sunny skies and warm temps. Spring fever fueled many, with over 180 runners toeing the start line – lots of fast folks itching to start their season and lots of first-timers acting on their new years resolutions. With my big race looming next weekend, I wasn’t expecting much, but it’s hard to stay away from a great local race :)

©LGmacfan

The race started with a short road prologue before hitting the trails. I tried to get a decent position going in, with a few strong ladies in front of me. Then the trail turned… straight up. And then up some more. Wow! I was immediately happy I shed my jacket moments before the start as I was overheating already. I was testing out a new pair of shoes today that I was super excited about – the Mindbender, a new addition to Vasque’s spring line. When I first put on this shoe, it felt like it was made for my foot. The low profile kept me nimble on the trail, with solid footing the whole time. (totally toying with the idea of using these next weekend, although I know they may be too new to commit to a big race. hmmm….. ) I tried to keep a consistent, easy pace, keeping speedy Belinda and young 13-year old running whiz Sarah within sight. It was hard to hold on at times, but finally I got my chance to slip by Sarah on a downhill, hoping my longer legs & experience could hold on. Once we hit the pavement, I pushed harder – even though I knew I couldn’t catch Belinda, I could hear footsteps closing in and didn’t want any last minute surprises. (and I held off that surprise by 2 seconds – phew!)

©LGmacfan


I finished 4th in the women’s open division – very happy to be so close to such speedy talent!

The gear:
Vasque Mindbenders – on the feet
Patagonia Capilene 1 – shirt
Pearl Izumi – knickers
Smartwool – socks
Ultimate Directions – handheld
Nuun – in the bottle
Headsweats – visor

snowshoes, anyone?

Saturday I will be at the 13th running of the Mt Mitchell Challenge. Lucky 13…. yes, it will be a special year. Check out the weather report for today:

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT…NORTHWEST WINDS WILL GUST AS HIGH AS 60 MPH AT TIMES THURSDAY AFTERNOON INTO THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. THIS WILL RESULT IN CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF SNOW…AND PERIODS OF NEAR-BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. W…IND CHILL VALUES IN THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS COULD REACH FROM 5 TO 10 BELOW TONIGHT….SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS.

Saturday’s forecast keeps changing… currently 38/22, with snow showers in the afternoon. Cross your fingers that it’s cold enough for it to just be snow – last year’s weather went from bad to worse, and runners were being rescued off the mountain. Of course the two previous years I’ve been out there (running the marathon distance), we had picture perfect sunny days. Maybe I’ll bring some sunshine again :)

I have no idea how ready I am. Sure, physically I feel great (thanks, Matt!) Mentally I am there, pulling from that adventure racing fortitude that I haven’t tapped into for a few years. I guess it comes down to gear and specific conditions. The course has been greatly modified due to the snow. (55″ and 10′+ drifts?!!) Some of the trails are closed, so we’ll be using the road to reach the summit. It was plowed this week, but after the snow today and tomorrow, who knows what sort of shape it will be in. Some folks are using snowshoes. I have yaktrax ready, but am not prepared with gtx shoes or gaiters. fingers (or rather toes) crossed that the fleece toe covers I’ve been using inside my Vasque Blurs all winter will be enough for the conditions ahead.

I’m taking my camera and will be sure to capture some epic conditions. Meanwhile, here are some my friend Chris took out there recently:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wncphotos/sets/72157623440072752/

And check out this article in the Asheville newspaper today.

And finally, a webcam from the summit. It’s dark out now, so I’m not quite sure what it looks right now. white, i’m sure!

A snowy raccoon

Once again I woke up to snow falling in southern Tennessee – a great day to go for a run on the mountain! It snowed on us for the entire 3 hrs. Unfort my run wasn’t that great, wiping out twice. My right knee is killing me. Ice not doing much to alleviate the pain. 2 weeks to get it back in track!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


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