I did my third mountain race of the USATF-NE Mountain Series this past Sunday at Pack Monadnock. As has been my experience with the previous two races, this one was tough! (Like middle-school cross-country race tough). The Pack course was 10 miles, gaining about 2000+ feet from start to finish. First you race 8 hard miles along the road, up and down (but mostly up) some pretty decent hills, only to find yourself at the base of a steep mountain road with one mile of super steep climbing. The last 1/4 mile felt like I was moving backward – with all the spectators there cheering us on as we inched our way upward.
Denise kicked butt from the very beginning of the race – and I followed a strong Leslie O’Dell (recently off a 2:55 at VCM…and possibly a track meet as well between then and Sunday?!) for a third place finish. I won some maple syrup and got to spend a few hours with some really amazing people. Everyone is really friendly and totally excited about the punishment they are about to or just endured.
I’m enjoying the mountain races – a lot.They’re unlike many road races where I have to focus to ignore and calm the discomfort. In mountain races, the pain is so real and unavoidable that I just have to smile and embrace it!
Thanks Eric at Level Renner for coming out on a gorgeous Sunday to cover the race!