The 2009 race was crazy. -2 degrees at the start and a struggle to stay warm and in constant motion. I ended up 8th in 3:35. This year was different, better weather, better conditioning, and I have entered 2010 at my lightest weight in over 20 years.
Much of this race is run on "primitive trail." This means that there is minimal trail maintenance. Throughout the course there are dozens upon dozens of downed trees, some of which, if you are lucky, have been cut down or cut out. In addition, the single track trail looks more like a deer path than the typical single track around here. It was common to see people getting off course and then looking around for a trail blaze or other marker to get back on course. I was one of these people, I got off course at least 2 times.
The course is an out and back 35k, then for the 50k you can continue on a different out and back 15k. I ended up running in a group for the first 10 miles and hit the halfway point in 8th place. On the way back to the 35k finish I was able to catch a few more people and finished the 35k in 3:02 and entered the 50k portion in 4th. Shortly after entering this section I got off course due to a confusing course marking and lost some time. I was able to work my way up to 3rd place and tried to hold on, but at mile 27 I started to get some adductor and sartorius cramps. I walked for awhile, was passed by one runner, hit a few electrolyte caps, and a gel, and was able to get back in a grove until the finish. I hit the finish in 5:03:10 in 4th place. Not a bad day. I was happy with the outcome and look forward to the next 50k on 2/13/10 at Holiday Lake, where I've run the course 4 other times and don't have to worry about course markings near as much.
For this race there were 5 Aide Stations that offered water, a couple different sodas, bananas, peanut butter pretzels, M & M's, and Famous Amos cookies. I went for the bananas and peanut butter pretzels and drank 20oz of water between each AS.