Mohican Trail Marathon 2017 – race recap

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I have a lot of thoughts about this race – and they are all great!!  It was refreshing to not have the pressure of trying to run for a time (BQ!) at a race, and to be in a new environment.  As promised, the trail race was a whole different animal and I really enjoyed it!

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The one thing that I would change is the start time of this race.  In the past it had started after the 100 milers (5am) and 50 milers (6am) at 8am.  However, due to some parking and traffic issues (??), the marathon start time was moved to noon.  Yep, high noon.  It was quite odd.  We weren’t really sure what to do with ourselves until our start time!  We camped just a short walk from the start line so we hung out in the camper because it was air conditioned.  Figured we didn’t need to eat lunch, but did enjoy a hearty breakfast.  I put cheddar cheese and cottage cheese on my scrambled eggs.  Do you think that is odd?  Alan says it is gross.  [it’s awesome!]

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Did I mention it was around 83 degrees by the time noon rolled around???  Ugh.  And what about those calf sleeves that I thought I needed for protection?  I ripped though things off as soon as I could at the first aid station – they were so freaking HOT!!!  No thank you, I’ll take my chances against the elements.

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We met up with friends at the start line.  This is a local running group, the Nerd Herd.  Very fitting, because we are pretty nerdy!  We had a pretty big group for the marathon, and a few other local runners ran the 100 miler.  One Nerd ran the 50 miler (and spoiler alert, he crushed it with 6th place overall and 1st in his age!!!)

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The first mile of the race is on flat land and I got my best time – 9:38.  After that, it was all uphill.  No really, I swear this race felt like it was 75% uphill!  When it’s mentioned about “don’t run the uphills”, that’s because it’s pretty much not humanly possible to run up them and do it more than once!  So we hiked up all the hills, and scampered down the other sides.

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I say “scampered” because a majority of the downhill was single track (meaning everyone in a single line) with lots of roots and rocks.  You had to really tread lightly and pay attention.  I was shocked that I only fell once, and it wasn’t bad at all.  Several times I smacked my big toe, and I now have a blister under the nail (oh no – is it the end of that nail??).

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We ran with a Nerd Herd friend (Hi Dianna!!) and she smoked it on the downhills!!  I could not keep up with her.  I pictured how hard I would fall if I tripped at that speed, so I just let her go ahead.  I was very happy to have her with us though because she motivated me to keep moving.  I will admit that I thought about calling it quits around mile 8.  The heat was almost too much.  Luckily, the aid stations happened about every hour and we were carrying enough water.  However, there were times I drank all of my water – which is crazy because I rarely drink much at all!

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The aid stations were manned by some awesome volunteers who filled up water bottles, helped with foot issues (had none!), handed out food, and so much more.  We wore Buffs to put ice cubes in around our necks and those helped lower our body temperatures a lot.  The sad thing was that I had so little saliva in my mouth I could barely eat anything!!  I did enjoy a lot of liquids and watermelon.  Even skipped the M&M Trail Mix because it just didn’t sound good.  My prayers were answered when they had snow cones around mile 20.  Hallelujah!!!!!

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I had a rough idea on a finish time I thought I would shoot for – 7 hrs.  Had no idea why I picked that, but it sounded good.  By the time we got to 20 miles, I actually had some renewed energy thinking that we could make that goal.  I think I was running even faster down the hills now.  In fact, it was downright difficult when we hit the flat lands again on the way to the finish line.  Ugh, flat land running is hard!!

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Alan and I finished in 6 hrs, 50 mins.  Woohoo!!!  Alan later admitted that he figured I would finish in 7:30, so I beat his expectations too!  We had lots of celebratory beers at the end :)  At the finish I was surprised how well I felt, although with a normal amount of body pain (but no injuries, or barking hammies/glutes!).  That was a good thing, because we had to walk about a half mile back “home” to the camper!!

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The race was missing one part that I was looking forward to  – the hand over hand root climb – but we did have two spots where we had to cross a few inches of water.  That was SUPER refreshing to feel the cool water!  We also went through an area with a small waterfall.  Awesome to get a little drenched in it!  Kinda funny that people were just out exploring the park, and here come a bunch of sweaty, stinky runners with numbers pinned to us!  You just don’t see that every day at the park!

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Will I do it again?  Oh my yes.  And who knows, I’ve got a big year happening in 2018… maybe #50in50.

2017 Race stats:

Marathon: 149 finished (we were 61 & 62), 37 DNF.  1st place was 3 hrs, 42 mins (not sure how that is possible!!)

50 Miler:  151 finished,  40 DNF  (1st place was 8 hrs, 4 mins)

100 Miler: 76 finished, 95 DNF  (1st place = 19 hrs, 16 mins  yep, it was a hot one out there!!)

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Thanks for visiting my blog!!  Leave a comment, I love to chat!……

Q:  How about you, have I sold you on trail running?

If so, invest in good hydration system, a Buff, and maybe skip the compression sleeves.

Q:  Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a race?

Q:  What foods would be at your dream aid station?

13 Comments

    • You should think about doing it… it’s not too far away from you! I’m torn about the start time – even though the heat of the day sucked, we were able to run into more of the 50 & 100 milers than we would have with the early start because they had just finished their first loop and were heading out again, so that was nice. I really liked seeing other runners on the trail instead of being all alone.

  1. I’ve been waiting to read your recap, so glad you had a great time. Trail running is such a different animal, not sure if I’m ready for it yet (we have a few smaller ones on the agenda this year). I still have yet to figure out road races, and stay (mostly) injury free.

    Congrats!

    • I’m still shocked I didn’t fall down a lot – I thought that would be the issue for me! Even if you’re not running, it’s a great experience to get out there and cheer the runners on. Fun group of people! (but hey, aren’t all runners fun??)

  2. Hi Lisa! Congratulations for the race! I’m so glad you had an amazing experience, because that’s the goal of races after all. I love running around parks and trails but I’m still not sure about racing in trails. I actually raced a 10K on a trail back in December, but still will like to get some more road races done.

    I think my dreamed food after finishing a race could be coffee, french fries, cheese, and cake. I know that is a weird/random combination but I get very bad cravings after a race or long run.

    What’s your next race?
    Nathaly Abrahan recently posted…Where Have I been? + How to Make Your Run Feel Amazing After Taking Time Off:My Profile

    • Thanks! Columbus half marathon (Oct) is the next big one on my schedule, and an 8K coming up in a few weeks. Besides that, I think it’s just a “rebuilding” year for me. No other marathons planned!
      Mmmmm, french fries post race sounds awesome!

  3. I love hiking, and I love running, but I haven’t tried to combine the two yet. I sometimes jog along some flat, wooded trails at my local park, but I’ve tripped over roots and rolled on acorns a few times, so it makes me really nervous. How do you get over the anxiety of wipe-out potential?

    I’ve definitely had a few races where I get faster and feel more comfortable towards the middle/end; my fastest mile in my only marathon was mile 14!

    I also like a good snow cone at an aid station… But my stomach often gets gnarly during races, so I like to stick to gatorade:) it KILLS me when there’s only water available!

    • They had “Heed” as the electrolyte drink, which I didn’t care for (the flavor). My new fav was pickle juice! It’s salty, and tastes really good. I also drank some Mountain Dew, which I never drink otherwise and that hit the spot.
      I have no idea how I ran that far without wiping out!! “race day miracle!”
      Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

  4. Oh wow, starting a race at noon in the summer is cruel! But congrats- you made the best of it and powered through!
    I’m definitely interested in getting more into trail running… my body is giving me signs it is not happy with road running and I see trails in my future!

    • I was surprised how relatively good I felt after the race, compared to a fast road marathon for me. It seemed to agree with me, so I’m going to do more trail running!

  5. Amazing photos!!!! I think trail running would be so fun….. I would not want to race it though.. I would want to soak everything in and take photos!!!!! And, snow cones!!! Awesome!!!!

    catching up with your blog,.. I have been crazy lately trying to keep up with everything… even had to put my blog on hold for a bit…. but getting back at it

  6. Oh my!! Noon is crazyyyyyy! I would have cried lol I really don’t like heat.
    Congrats on fantastic run! You crushed it. Your area looks very similar to what I trail run here, I have taken a few very hard rolls while running hard and catching a root. It isn’t fun, but i guess it is part of it. We have a trail race here in Spring and I’ve always wanted to do it, but rain has held me back… it has poured rain right before race the past few years and it keeps me from going, I just don’t want to slip and slide in mud for that long. Maybe one year :)
    The walk back to your camper was probably good for you to loosen up! Sounds like a great time.
    Karen Bayne recently posted…Glacier Half Marathon ~ MontanaMy Profile

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