June 15th (Saturday): 6:15am wakeup. Bathroom immediately, changed up into the running gear, packed up and out the door by 6:50ish. Stopped at Dunkin Donuts (right down the road) for a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. Back on the road to travel the 20 minutes down to the base of the auto road. Parked and straight to the port-o-potty. Chilled, saw some familiar faces (Sam Wood, Andy McCarron, Jim Johnson). 20:48 warmup with a bunch of different guys on the nearby trails at about 8:20ish.
Back to the truck to figure out exactly what I wanted to wear and carry with me. Powerbar gel inside the shorts in case of unwanted bonking. Decided on hat, singlet, half tights, and the Nike Streak LTs. Over to the line to be just one individual of a stacked field. Excited, nervous, and surprisingly calm all at the same time.
Off the line well (started in the 2nd/3rd row) to avoid any stupid mistakes. A relaxed 1st mile (6:50, roughly 30th-35th place) and working well with my teammate, Dan Princic (Paul Rudd look-a-like in my mind) from Whirlaway. Gauged off of Josh Ferenc and tried to keep him in sight. 15:20 (8:30 2nd mile) through 2 miles (courtesy of Dan's watch). Slowly picking people off each mile and staying as relaxed as possible. Dan and I were passing people on the left and right (simultaneously) through 3 miles (working well with each other).
Amazing views behind us.
Might of glanced to the left of me a couple times (courtesy of FarNorth)
Side note: I saw Sage Canady's girlfriend (not knowing who she was at the time, all I was wondering was, "Who is this beautiful girl next to me?"). She was running on the far side of the road spectating and cheering the runners on.
Sandi Nypaver (Sage's girlfriend) in the background.
Boom! (courtesy of SNAPacidotic)
Laid down on the ground immediately and felt like I was gonna throw up my gel. Kept it down and walked it off. Walked up to the summit. Greeted my parents and trotted inside to change into some dry/warm clothes. Changed the socks and shirt. Added hat, gloves, and lightweight jacket. Perfect. Ferenc and a crew were heading down the trail to the bottom. I ventured with them for about 2 minutes and turned around. Instincts told me to take the auto road. I did just that. Jogged down the first couple miles with these two random guys. I ended up having an extra hat in my jacket that I lent to one of the guys (he had gloves, sleeveless he raced in, and shorts - unprepared). We eventually made it past the wind tunnel and into shade/warmer conditions.
Keene State and honorary member.
Down to the bottom to change into casual clothes, grab turkey lunch, ice cream and chill under the tent. Ended up conversing with a guy that was from Brattleboro that knew Ferenc. Cool. He felt like he was sitting with a superstar after he heard how I did. I guess.
Thoughts on the race: Loved it. It was such a unique race/distance. I cannot wait for next year. Simple as that.
Trekked back to VT by 4ish. Stopped for a buffalo chicken wrap and fries in Lincoln. Napped for about 45 minutes towards the end of the ride. Over to Keene by 8pm to head out to the bars and met up with some alumni. Woohoo! Fun night and crashed at Fowler.
Good looking crew!