Ran 7.6 miles @ 13:15/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 162/173
Mid 70s in valley, Lower 50s on top. Partly cloudy.
Overall Male Placing (no consolidated postings yet): 201 out of 672
Age Group Placing (M35-39): 41 out of 101
It was a great day to run up the old rockpile for myself, Ian, Emma, and Mike. Weather was awesome, and it was a great, buttkicking time. For those reading this that may not know, Mt. Washington itself is 6288' high and is the tallest mountain in the northeast. The race would start 4650' below the summit and follow the auto-road up to the top. Aside from a very slight downhill that lasts a few dozen yards right after the start line, the race is entirely uphill. Not one drop, not one flat spot... all uphill, the vast majority of which is incredibly steep to boot. It's quite insane.
However, the course itself is also very beautiful. It's neat to see the ecosystem around you change as you get higher. And once you get above treeline, the views are breathtaking and help take your mind off the craziness of the race. Snowfields were also visible on the adjacent Mt. Jefferson.
I wasn't sure what to expect today. I ran it last year in 1:39:04, and thought it'd be a small miracle if I beat that. At the risk of sounding cocky, given the knee surgery two months ago and fitness lost during that ordeal, the two 20+ mile days I've run in the past two weeks, and that I didn't really feel like I pushed myself that hard today, I'm very happy that I was only 1:35 slower.
One thing that definitely helped was experience. I knew the best game plan for me was to charge the not-as-steep sections and power walk the steeper ones. Worked out quite well that way. Last year, I was a bit more erratic and things didn't quite work out as efficiently as they could have.
A nice, long night run is planned for tonight up at Pineland Farms to help prepare for the VT100.