Sunday, June 15, 2014

Understatement of the year regarding the Highlands Sky 40 Mile Trail Run.



According their website, Highlands Sky 40 mile trail run “is a demanding course on varied terrain”. I appreciate the modest approach the RD, Dan Lehman takes to the race, but... “varied terrain”? It is like saying, a menopausal woman or a man in a mid life crisis has varied emotions, thoughts and desires.  Let me try to list the variety of just some of the terrain. There is a metal bridge, multiple wood bridges, makeshift log bridges, asphalt, limestone, gravel, mud, nettles, poison ivy, boulders, rocks, pebbles, lichen, moss, thorn bushes,  stones, stumps, roots, snakes, dust, creeks, streams, ski slopes, and, and, and.  After getting through the race, I have fulfilled my quota for rocks and mud for a lifetime or until next year, God willing and I get my registration in on time. The elevation stays the same about two feet, and then it changes abruptly to either a steep ascent or descent for about six miles.   

The one thing that did not vary, was the efficiency and friendliness of everyone affiliated with the race.  The aid station workers were always focused on the needs of the runners and had a more than adequate supply of food and hydration choices.  I even found the sweepers to be very nice and courteous as they encouraged me to pick up the pace so that “I” would not miss the cut off.  I really appreciated being escorted the last dozen miles as two others and I got off the trail three different times and needed their help.   

As a nice young woman named Catherine and I fought with each other who would be last the “varied terrain” of the last 100 yards was mostly uphill.  I let her win (lose), since I have been last so many other times, I thought it might help her attain a first in her life.  Being able to finish with seven minutes to spare after traversing “varied terrain” for 41 miles I am just thankful to recline in a non “varied terrain” recliner and reminisce the variety of the Highlands Sky 40 (which is actually 41) mile trail run, but who’s counting?

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