Saturday, April 20, 2013

TARC Spring Thaw 6 hour, 2013

Again, another post in the "Better late than never" column....  On March 24th, I ran the 2nd TARC Spring Thaw 6 hour, which is a fantastic event run by Emily Trespas.  I ran it last year, and had a fantastic time.  You can read about it here.  Last year, the weather was glorious, but this year?

This year?

Yeah, there was a little bit of snow.  A lot, actually.  This is where we put the drop bags:

I know, right?  Spring Thaw my frostbitten foot.  Actually, the weather wasn't too bad.  It was in the 30s and sunny, so very comfortable for running.

Other than the snow, the other difference from last year is that I rode up with my neighbors Robin and Deron.  They are aspiring ultrarunners - and they live less than a half mile from my house!  Hooray for locals to go on long runs with!

Also, I think I forgot to eat breakfast.  I realized I was very hungry during the pre-race announcements, and had to run back to the aid station and grab a bagel.  Total "you know you're an ultrarunner when"....  moment.  If you're already eating at the starting line.  

Last year, I was able to cover 28 miles.  That's 8 loops of the 3.5 mile course.  I was hoping to do the same this year, but I was not too optimistic.  Because this is what the trail looked like:

The Conga Line
 Seriously?  It was surreal to run through the snow with everyone in their bright running clothes.

I had a good run!  Due to the snow banks this year, the aid station was moved about a quarter mile off the course.  One thing I've been working on is NOT going to every aid station if they are 3.5 miles apart - so I hit the aid station after every other loop.

A bit on my choice of footwear - I was wearing the VIVO Barefoot Neo Trails.  This is a great shoe for  snowy trails.  I had a lot more grip than most of the other runners out there, and flew past people on the downhills.

But on loop 7, the trail started to look like this:

It was getting slushy and soupy, and I fell in the mud a couple of times.  Loop 7 took me forever!  Reluctantly, I decided that I didn't have time for an eighth loop, and after completing loop 7, I asked for the "2 mile out and back" option - during which I fell twice.

26.5 miles - not too shabby, though, for 5 and a half hours in the snow.

This is at about 5:10 - still having a good time!

Thanks again, Emily and TARC, for another fantastic event!