Drove up to Chesterfield, NH for the Pisgah Trail Races. There's a 50K and a 23K; both are pretty hard. Perhaps someday soon I'll attempt the 50K (I'm lookin' at you, 2013...), but for this year I was really excited to run the "short" course.
Given my fitness level at the time (not bad, but not stellar either), this ended up being a near-perfect race. I took 13 minutes off my time from the same race in 2005 (almost a full minute per mile!). Excellent weather, dry trails, and good camaraderie. Always fun to run with Jason Lane, who came down from Concord to do this one. I think knowing the course also made a big difference (I'm sure it helped some to have created a natural history trail guide and map to part of this route in 2009). I felt like I had a sense for where to conserve, where to spend, and where to totally let loose, and that must have shaved plenty of seconds here and there. In particular, knowing that the final four miles contain two significant climbs, one descent with tricky footing, and one steep descent on which you can open up was a big help mentally, and eventually physically. Finished in 2:15:43 (a 9:29 pace). Good stuff.
Jason and me on the dirt road section around mile 9
(photo by Jen Garrett)
happy munching at the finish (photo by Jen Garrett)
L: singletrack trail near the north shore of Pisgah Reservoir (~mile 7-ish)
R: view of Monadnock from Mt. Pisgah
cairn on the open ledges of Mt. Pisgah (~mile 7.5)
trail bridge near the north shore of Kilburn Pond (~mile 8.5)