This past Saturday morning I woke my cousin @JustSavyMama around 500 and we got ready to drive to Ragged Mountain Resort so i could take part in the 3rd race in this season’s WinterWild Series. Two weeks ago i ran in the second race, and that was such a blast I thought I’d have a go at this one.
Having some military experience, one would expect that i would do some RECON of the event site before i
plopped down my cold hard cash typed in my debit card information. But I didn’t. I DID look at the trail map online, and thought, well, up, then down. One lap this time? Sweet.
After having driven nearly an hour, I blew right past the access road to the resort. I was looking for a sign on MY side of the road. It was on the OTHER side of the road. After we turned around, though, it WAS on my side… We parked and went to the lodge where registration was well under way. An empty table with cubbbies was right there, too, so we sat down and I began my pre-race ritual of pinning on my number (after i folded it, of course), making sure my layers were appropriate, chatting with others, cluing in my cousin on what was going on etc. Then I heard, “ALL RACERS BE ON THE SNOW IN FIIIIIIVE MINUTES!!!”
BOOOOOM! COLD! oh, boy. cold cold cold cold…..My frozen cousin stood around and took a few pictures before the start, but then the batteries pretty much froze, too, then died, so there aren’t any of me crossing the finish line. Just some start shots..
The course took us up the main lift line, or FACE, as it is often called. If you are following along on the map, the first part was basically (for me!) a fast jog up Lower Exhibition, followed by a fast hike through the Six Pack and into Upper Exhibition. Raggedy Ann kicked my raggedy Azz, and I had to stop for a bit on that final push to the summit. The air was so cold that it hurt my lungs to breathe in as heavily as I needed to just to sustain life. I cursed myself several times for not having brought my inhaler, but i didn’t need it anyway. Phew!
The wind at the top was strong, and the view looking back toward the base lodge was fantastic. The sun was just hitting most of the peaks, and they were bathed in a wonderful purple. Maybe. That might have been from the broken blood vessels in my eyeballs. Who really knows? The course went around the top of the lift then down a gentle trail called Blueberry Patch. Gaining momentum and beginning to pass other runners, I began to wish that I had pushed myself a bit harder earlier in the race. At Suicide Six, I’d skied down many, many times, so pretty much knew what to expect and could budget my energy expenditure a bit better than I was able to here at Ragged Mountain. All part of the learning process, I suppose.
Short left onto Upper Chute, then a slight left onto Raggedy Andy. BIG patch of ice there, just as I was passing a snow-shoe-r. I really didn’t want to fall and take us both out, so i trusted my spikes and stepped heavily so that they could get a good bite. YIKES!!! Other runners had broken through the ice…CRUD! I stayed on the uphill side and stepped a bit lighter and faster as I negotiated the ice. OK! Back to the downhill sprint.
Nearing the base lodge I was picking off people as fast as I could, and then noticed a runner ahead of me waving her arms and slowing down. Turns out there was a photographer near where Main Street and Village Green come together. Maybe a bit closer to the bottom. Anyway, as you can see here, I took the opportunity to NOT get chicked…
I finished 15th in my AG, but there were only 17 in the group. Wow. I thought I’d done alright, but the field was FAST. In the series standings, however, I am 9th out of 42(?) in my AG which I a very happy with! Next race is this coming weekend at Whale Back. This race is practically in my back yard as well, so you bet I’ll be there! I’ve already typed in my debit card information, so there’s no backing out!
Big shout out to @BitsOfHealth and @EnergyBits for helping to fuel my run. I’m a customer and big fan of their bits!
Next time, though, I think I’ll wear running pants that fit me a bit better…holy rag-a-muffin…