Having run the 'other' Wapack trail race in May (end to end 22 miler), I was familiar with the new trail up the first of 4 peaks (Barrett Mt). For some reason 99% of the runners just wouldn't line up at the starting line, choosing to mingle a good 10-15ft behind it (see picture below). I have no idea why, other than maybe they weren't quite sure which way to go.
|At the starting line|
I was feeling pretty good on the way out and eventually opened up about a 3 minute lead on Scott by the time I hit the half-way point in 1:24 (10th place). If you want to know where your competitors are, an out and back will let you know. Keith Schmitt was about 5 minutes ahead, Jimmie Cochran about 4 minutes behind and the eventual 10th place finisher was right behind me. He would pass me pretty quickly on the steep climb back up Watatic.
|Battle wounds for the day|
That was all the motivation I needed to get running again. I immediately took off, hoping to chase Scott down. I caught him about 1 1/2 miles later, mostly because he was slowing down. Several times I thought about packing it in. If there was a way to get off this stupid trail and get back to my car with very little effort I would have done it.
I'm pretty sure I walked the entire way up Pratt Mt and ran sparingly over to New Ipswich Mt as well. I saw some hikers near the summit of New Ipswich so I decided to get running again and at least make it look like I was racing. Ugh. They were nice enough to cheer me on which I appreciated. However, about 10 seconds after passing them they began cheering someone else on. Who the heck was right behind me? Jimmie C. had caught up to me. Damn. Still 3 miles to go.
|Approaching the finish|
photo credits - Kim Allen & Wapack Website