Once to Horse Mtn Aid #4 it's all clear as you make your way downhill into Hobble Creek. Unless you're like me and forget to pack your flashlight. Coming down the mountain at 10:00 pm without a light sucks! I also wish I had brought a camera to take some pictures. Oh well. As I neared the asphalt without crashing I was relieved. That is until I looked up at a light post 100 meters before the asphalt and turfed it hard. A couple of scratches with a damaged ego but I was fine. I reached mile 26 in a time of 4 hrs and 43 minutes having run 24 miles and feeling quite strong!
Less than 10 hours later I found myself where I left off at mile 26. The first couple of miles were slow as I warmed up but by Sheep Creek I was feeling great. The course is so green right now and the trail is perfect. The rivers will be crossable and the mud minimal. For some reason I always smile when I get to Little Valley. Whether training or on race day there is something about it. Maybe it's the perfect technical bomber downhill into Little Valley, or the subtle realization that your not going to die, or maybe it really is just a gorgeous area. Either way I enjoy Little Valley.
Surprisingly I really enjoy that first climb as well. Interestingly it looks like there has been a flash flood up there. The river is much more channeled making it easier to cross with the surrounding ravine washed out in several places. There are plenty of downed tree and twigs which the trail crew will have a heck of a time clearing out. I kicked and grabbed as many as I could but there is a lot. None of which create a problem until you get to the North side of Bald Knoll. Along with several slide paths and snow patches, there are several major downed trees that will create a problem for the trail crew and on race day. Once you make the turn south down to Berryport Pass the trail is clear to Bozung Hill. This is where I turned around but Bozung Hill did not look like it had much snow. I was shocked at how little was on the mountain.
I had pushed the pace the whole way up and now I decided not to pound my legs by taking the way back nice and easy. It was a perfect run. There was a nice cloud cover the whole way and the last 45 minutes there was even a nice drizzle of rain which I loved. It was great seeing Phil Lowry out on the course as well. I finished the 24 miles in 5 hours and 15 minutes. It was fantastic! It got me very excited for the race in two weeks.
I finished this week totaling 69 miles 100% trails with 15000 ft of elevation gain. I feel great. With a two week taper I should be ready to go come race day. I hope everyone else is as excited as myself!