This year's mountain run provided a very handsome race tech shirt, a round white logo centered on a deep crimson long sleeve. The color sticks out smartly against North Carolina's winter landscape and neatly disguises any of your recently let blood from said landscape. Registration was efficient, buses ran on time, bathroom facilities were adequately handled, aid stations were perfect, pre-race bulletin addressed everything. Bull City Running has always put on great races, but they seem to be just showing off now. Kim and Jason's race director experiences lend real polish to this event. You only notice their legions of volunteer minions when you need them. Their behind the scenes efforts allow you to focus all of your efforts on the race, and this race is worthy of your undivided attention. From my heart: Thank you Bull City Running and volunteers.
That aside there are some real obstacles at this race. Challenges that make it that much better. If Uhwarrie donned clothes, she'd sport lots of leather, fishnets, tattoos, and most especially a whip (probably handcuffs too). If you like UMR, consider looking up Raven at Pandora's Box next time you visit NYC. Either one will be happy to provide you with chaffed nipples, but at Uhwarrie you also get pottery and a shirt.
|Frozen fish sticks.|
I arrived early enough to connect with some old friends running the 40 mile option. Those who could break free of their straight jackets for the weekend, the usual suspects. Last year I planned on running the out and back in 2013, but 3 days after the race my ankle officially resigned. As under trained as I was 20 might have well as been 40 and 40 might have well as been climbing K2 in a snow storm. Respect 40 milers. Hope to join your ranks in 2014. Special congratulations on your longest race Scott. You looked better at 23 than I felt at 17 when we crossed.
|Diane with unidentified male model.|
I lined up near Steph and friends at the start and said goodbye. My plan to treat this race as a slow long run Umstead Marathon prep combined with my current fitness level ensured a lot of solo running. I remembered the back up on the first mile bottle neck last year and felt entitled to start further up in the crowd than I expected to finish. The first mile looks like a Newark runway on a holiday.
|With head phones discouraged some racers opt|
for more traditional forms.
|Uhwharrie park bench.|
Miles 11-15 took my confidence out to the woodshed. I was really struggling by mile 10. I chalked the tiredness up to going out too fast and my shunning of p90x. At the mile 11 aid station my stomach was rolling and I felt pretty bad. My blood sugar was 135 at mile 8, I checked again and was surprised to find a 36. Not a PR for me in a race, but close. The volunteer at 11 was either familiar with diabetics, a nurse, or an angel. I was too low to make decent decisions and my stomach was not going to tolerate my go to Hammer gel treatment. My new aid station guardian insisted on my partaking of some peanut butter, chips, and assorted goodies. I spent some time recovering and the protein settled things down enough for me to suck down 3 gels. I convinced the aid station that I would survive at least long enough to make mile 14 and they let me go with a cargo pocket full of Hammer gels. By now, I was pretty close to last place, although still slightly ahead of the DNFs. I figured my chances of finishing at about half. I made it to mile 14 with a 79 blood sugar. Normal for the pancreas functional crowd, but too close to disaster for me. I had switched insulin delivery systems and was running half the amount of my usual basal rates. My best professional medical guess, my effort level was much higher than usual causing my muscles to slurp glucose. At mile 14 I discovered the hot soup. Chicken noodle soup rules! It fully calmed down the belly and I dined, as if this were my last meal. I figured 15% chance it was.
|Even without my glasses|
I found my bag check with
very little trouble.
|Cold ducks are known to be very good for inflammation.|