Sleepy Hollow Mountain Race in Huntington, VT
April 20, 2019
This race is part of the USATF Mountain Series, I ran as a Gate City Strider.
This was my first trail race and my first mountain race. April is Mud season in Vermont and many of the side roads were flooded, or so it seemed. I wonder if Vermont paves any road that is not a main route or highway.
The morning of the race, the skies were overcast without rain. The drive to the mountain was pleasant and we even drove by the place we got married nearly 12 years ago. On Friday, I discovered there was a risk of thunderstorms. I don’t mind rain, but thunderstorms terrify me, the idea of running alone in the trails with that going on is something I hope to never experience.
I knew the weather had the potential to be bad, and that there would be MUD. At the start of the race they brought up the storms again and said that safety came first. I decided if the thunderstorms started before I set out on my third loop I was done. Luckily they did not.
|The race has begun!|
|The first ascent right at the start|
The first decent was a new experience, I swear I made it down without falling by pulling in so many skills from my past. Ice hockey to control a slide, larping to make rapid changes to where my feet land as the ground could be mud, deep mud, leaves with light mud or rocks. As it bottomed out there was a water stop and some smiling people. I ate a Clif Blok, chatted and continued on. I may even have run a bit as it was flatish.
|Somewhere on the first half of the course.|
|Darth Vader Trail|
I don’t remember too much from that decent. Just that I was getting close to the start area when I needed to decide to continue or quit. Sky looked good so I continued. Seeing people also helped encourage me along. One of the women at the water stop made a joke that not a hair was out of place on my head. As I started the final ascent I was passing runners who were done and heading to the finish. My watch was 1/4-1/2 mile off so I couldn’t trust it for how much further but when I saw the 5 mile marker I was so happy. 1.5 miles to go I can do 1.5 miles. I was starting to feel the cold at this point, getting zings in my hand and arm. The puddles were cold on my feet, rather than nothing. The Han Solo trail had the best views but my phone was still not behaving. I did stop on a boulder and just look out and appreciate all I could see. On the descent I saw the 6 mile marker and knew I was almost done. Then the 75 meters to finish sign at the bottom of a short hill, as I got to the too one last burst or running and I was done and starting to notice how cold I was.
|Asoka is A Soaked.|
Once we got back to the condo, Alex made the most amazing spread of smoked salmon, cucumbers, fresh salsa, rice cakes and potato chips. I want to do this race again, but next year I'll do better training and spend more time on the stair master.
Next Race is Pack Monadnock.
|I found Padme!|
|This was my Asoka belt flap under my bib.|
|Green line is Elevation, Red is heart rate. Even the descents were hard.|