Results (based on Guntime):
2h 30m 17s (11:28 min per mile average)
Age Group (30-39) 6/12
Got up way too early! The dog is still not adjusted to the time change and was whining at around 4.30am. Then Terry was getting ready for his super early run with the Fleet Feet group, needless to say, I was wide awake by the time he left.
Oh well, since I didn't prep anything ahead of time, I got my stuff together for the day. Decided on an outfit (purple of course... three races in a row), put a change of clothes in the bag and prepped my race vest with water and food.
The drive up to Spartanburg went off without a hitch and I was there with a lot of time to spare. Package pick-up, check-in, chatting with Brian and some of the tri girls... Got rid of the extra layers, lined up at the start line and off we went!
It started out on a dirt road, but we turned on a double track within the first half mile. Shortly after that we were on single tracks through the woods. The first couple of miles ticked by fast and I was in a small group of women. The group changed around a little as we went, but I actually ended up with two of them right ahead of me and two of them right behind me at the end. I enjoyed having people around me, because this was complete new terrain for me and having people ahead of me meant, that I didn't have to watch so hard for route markers. The course was very well marked, but it's easier to just follow the feet ahead of you instead of looking around for pink ribbons. Of course, this tactic can go wrong too, but it worked out yesterday.
The first aid station was at around mile four and I ran right through it as I did with all the other aid stations... With my race vest, I was completely self supported and really saved a lot of time compared to all the people that stopped, slowed down there.
The terrain seemed to be getting easier after the first aid station. It went from single track to a double track again and I was in a good rhythm and just kept plugging along. Pretty early, I started to hike the steeper hills and I was able to keep up with the people around me even though they ran the whole course. My nutrition strategy was to pop one shot blok per mile and I stuck to it until maybe mile 7 when I felt nauseous, so I stopped eating until mile 11. Drinking was going well the whole time and I ran straight through the second aid station at mile 8?
Things got pretty blurry for me after that... There was a stream crossing where I ended up sticking my right foot into the creek to get it nicely soaked. I was so happy when I saw the last aid station, especially because somebody said the course is really easy after that. Yeah right.... It certainly went downhill for me from there. I was hurting and those last couple of miles felt longer that the first 2/3 of the race.... I just kept dragging along. At one point, I heard this guy yelling and he basically showed the last turn, yelling at us to push push push over the last hill and that the finish line is just 4 minutes out. I got all excited, but then I actually saw the hill and all the excitement vanished instantly! Fortunately, it flattened out a little again and then went downhill to the finish line.
Brian was right at the finish line, so we chatted a little and traded some race stories. After that, I was on the look-out for some solid food. Walked around a little while and then ran into Lindsay, a local blogger. We chatted a while and then waited around for the raffle.... And I actually won something. SWEET.
After the raffle, I took off, since I knew my chances to place were pretty much non existent and I wanted to catch up with me relay goons on the way home.
The rest of the day was very low key.... read lazy... I was hurting and I am still hurting. I did an easy swim today to shake things out a little and I think it sorta kinda worked. Let's see how tomorrow feels.
I think the Spartanburg Running Club did an excellent job with this race. From the package pick-up over the race course, the volunteers, the finish line activities... Great! Of course the location in itself is already so beautiful... There is a good chance, that I'll be coming back for more next year.