Picture 2: Rob (blue jacket) winds his way up on loop 1
Picture 3: Steve in the front with red shirt
Picture 4: Maniac #200 with me trailing behind.
Well 8:08 is a sucky time for a 50K but I'll call it respectable considering the course and my present conditioning. Rob, Steve, Maniac #200, and myself ran the first loop counter clockwise and the second loop clockwise. The second loop basically is very steep all the way to the summit of Tiger Mt. With the snow on the ground we couldn't really see ourselves running back down that steep grade with bone weary legs so we chose to reverse the course. I think we all (with the exception of Maniac #200) thought about just turning around and quitting as we trudged back up loop 2. We were all really sucking wind to the top but were able to recover and continue on. Maniac # 3 showed up late to the race and caught up to us on the second loop. He and Maniac #200 took off and we never saw them again until the finish line.
Steve took the honors for most falls, Rob took the honors for best chaffing, and I bashed my good knee on a stump and managed to bleed some. Both Rob and Steve just finished three marathon or greater distances in three weeks. Way to go guys!
You can see by the pictures that we encountered some fairly deep snow towards the top third of the Mt. It was about a 1 1/2 feet deep but due to all the 25K runner ahead of us it was nicely packed down. It did tend to make our feet extremely cold running for hours on frozen packed snow. Temperature at the start was 35 degrees F and chilled quite a bit as we got up into the snow. We didn't do well with our water supply and ended up chancing it by drinking from a stream on the last loop. Hopefully we didn't ingest and nasty bugs that could make us sick. Time will tell on that issue.
I wore my Brooks Cascadias and they were perfect for the trail conditions. I had great traction on the snow and they drained well when we ran through the muddy runoff at the lower elevations.
The race was well attended with about 45-55 runners. We think that only about 9 runners did the 50K. I'm pretty beat after a nice day of running so I'm heading to the sack. Need my rest for a run in the morning with Michelle!