Green Monster 50K, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania 4,5

Elevation Gain: 7000' - High Point: 2313' - Low Point: 1166' - RESULTS

October 13, 2013 - One look at the elevation profile for the Green Monster 50K,
given my foreknowledge of challenging conditions on Rocksylvania trails, was 
all it took for me to sign up immediately upon my first encounter with this event.

Now that the race is complete even my sore feet would concur that this race did
not disappoint.  As to ugly - definitely a misnomer.  Gnarly yes, sometimes
grueling yes, it was a smashingly formidable challenge, as my toes will attest 
as they speak to me this morning after.

After comfortably camping in my car a few miles from the start at the northern
terminus of the West Rim Trail I arrived at 0600 to collect a bib and swag and
give relaxed attention to all my pre-race rituals.  I was feeling good, despite 
having felt weary all week from the efforts I've been undertaking to move my
home.  I watched as others arrived and went through their pre-race preparations.
One guy in particular fascinated me.  He had five daughters along with his wife,
all doting on him and excited to be there in support of dad.  It made me envious of
the day when family would be in tow at these events.  But that day has passed.
It left me with a warm feeling for the sport and I was truly happy to be there and
looking forward to engaging the course in competitive fashion and having a great day.

As the 0730 start time approached I stripped down to racing attire and jogged
easy the 3/4 mile to the starting area.  At fifty degrees with some light mist in the
air I was quite comfortable.  The 50K event proceeded up the road from the start
to string out the field before hitting single track.  I was feeling relaxed and ready
to go, but held back as I watched younger legs bolt ahead.  My strength lies in
climbing and endurance, and no longer in speed, so I leaned back patiently and
waited for the first climb.  I didn't have to wait long before a tortuous wall faced 
all of us.  From this early point in the race forward no one behind me beat me to
the finish, my measure of a good race.

I put my talent to work on the first tortuous climb, consuming many a climbing
competitor with a steady power gait up the long ascent.  Gaining the top I worked
to extend any gap before starting down the precipitous descent on the other side.
Descending such rocky terrain I deliberately take it easy to protect against over
extending or falling.  I found good company here and there throughout the day
as one hill followed another.  While the course takes its toll on everyone's stamina
I was able to continue to pull back runner after runner by outlasting them with
pure toughness.  GM50K is really the kind of course that I relish as it enables me to
play to my strengths and succeed where others falter.

While my legs showed fatigue a couple of times, the varied terrain enabled me to
alternate muscle groups and let tired muscles recover.  At no point did I lose focus
or control throughout the course, right to the finish.  With much of the field behind
me and skilled runners ahead, for much of the day I ran alone and could monitor
feedback to keep control.  The course was well marked, temps were perfect,
and there was beauty at every turn with the fall foliage, some vistas, several dicey
stream crossings, and varied forest types.  The last two plus miles followed a mild
gradient down an old logging path, enabling me to stride out with comfort and race
to a sub-seven hour finish.  I felt good at the finish, with no muscle soreness, just
some soreness in the feet and toes from stumbles on rocks and roots and bruising
from running the rocks.  I fell twice but managed to roll safely without blood or
injury.  It was a good day.  It was so nice to race again without the hamstring
injury that has plagued me much of this year.  For the first time in a long time I
could lift my right leg comfortably and stride out as in times before.  

I feel like I am back.  This is an event I may reckon with again.  Great organization,
great swag, great food at the end, and a killer course.  I highly recommend it.