Ice, Mud, and Old guys!
Thanks to Alan and Pam for a mid-winter race just when we all needed it.
The course was a mix of everything a trail runner wants and the 4 decent hills in the last 3 miles make for a memorable challenge. Ice changing to mud made the 2nd loop seem like a different trail. Awesome upbeat volunteers were a welcome site at just the right times. I really liked the one point in the race where you come out of the woods and enter a grassy field and can see all of Westminster-rolling hills and farm land that let you know why you dont run on anything flat for very long in this race.
I have missed a few years of costant racing and love being back and seeing my ultra friends on a regular basis-I've always ended up running with Gary Knipling in the past [ finished Mountain Masochist and Catoctin a few times with him trading leads and helping each other out] but this race I took off ahead of him and thought maybe i wouldn't see him again since he's "very very old now",. But going through the rubber band loop the second time i realized he was smiling and maybe chasing me "just a little bit". In the same way I don't want my Grandfather to beat me, it put a little extra effort in my race FEELING him behind me. I think he could have caught me if he didn't end up running with "The Next Pretty Girl" in his sight-[have you ever seen a race picture where Gary doesn't have his arm around a pretty girl and his hand around a bottle of Knob Creek?]. Joking aside, I hope my future in trail running can mirror the effort Gary puts into his running, and that smile of his could cure the world of many ills. By the way, he didn't catch me, but put in a great time in a hilly race!
The mugs we got from the President and First Lady were awesome and the vegetarian chili was the best I've ever tasted. I'm putting this run on my must do list and am so glad it's less than an hour from home-Thanks Again to the Gowens and all of the many volunteers for making the end of February a great transition into SPRING!!-Danny