Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Third times a charm... Bluff 50K

What a great way to start... had my trail name on the bib!!!!  

After a horrible Hartford Marathon, I was in need for a lovely, fun, happy trail race. The Bluff 50k was the perfect thing to get me out of my post marathon funk. I decided I would go into the race with no expectations. I've run the Bluff the past two years and I didn't want to have to compare times, or go into the race with any type of goal. 

I knew several people at the race, so before the race even started, everyone was chatting and having a good time. I started near the back of the pack and just took my time- no rush. People went by and I was in no hurry to chase after them. I decided if I felt good at the end, THEN I could start chasing people down. 

The race went pretty uneventful... it was probably the nicest fall day New England has had to offer, a perfect 60 degree, sunny day, and fall foliage was at it's peak. We made our way up to the top of the Bluff Head and the views were spectacular- that is one (of many!!) reason I run this race each year. You can see for miles. 

Top of the Bluff... totally worth the climb!

After the Bluff Head, the course gets tricky, lots of rocks and many more leaves to cover them up so each step is a new surprise. Actually sounds a lot like Ozark Trail 100
I kept running with new people, one of the best parts of trail running is constantly meeting new people and getting to know each other on the trails. Everyone is always so friendly and chatty. Makes the day so much better when you can find people to run with and talk the day away. 

Little bit of a climb

Made it to the halfway point, and filled up on grilled cheese! It was the best thing I had ever tasted!! I knew I could get through the rest of the day with those little sandwiches! YUM! We continued on, walking, running, chatting, and soon getting lost! There was a new section of trail that a bunch of us missed and went about a quarter mile past the turn off. Oh well... just got my moneys worth! :) The new section was great- lots of sharp turns back and forth and up and down, it was a mountain bikers paradise. I love that this race has so many different types of terrain, some climbing, some technical, but still lots of runnable forest roads. I'm discovering that the runnable forest roads are my new favorite, but you also need some hills to break up the running parts to give yourself a walking break :) This race has it all.

Kinda scary while I heard gun shots getting closer and closer

Towards the end of the race, around mi 28ish I got a new burst of energy, I felt great, still had some gas left in the tank so I decided to take off and kick it into gear. I booked it the last 4 miles or so of the race, and felt great! I was so happy to have felt so good, no stomach issues, no leg pains, no cramping. I don't know if I have ever felt so good towards the end of any race. I guess the Hartford Marathon was just a great training run for the Bluff. This was my third year at the Bluff and I hope to keep coming back year after year. Great race and thanks Jerry!

LOVE the finishers awards!!!