Saturday, September 16, 2006
What a run! In training for the marathon, I thought it would be good to run a trial run. This "trial" came in the form of the Hocking Hills Indian Run. I chose the 40K, which equates to 24.8 miles. You might know that last week's 20 miler was the longest run I've ever done, so this was almost 5 miles beyond that.
This particular course is, as one might expect from its location, hilly. I went down the night before and camped with my friend Rob and his two training partners, Mike and Matt. Then in the morning we headed for the lodge, where we prepared for the race (and watched the 60K run begin).
The 40K consisted of two loops around the 20K course. A bit of the race was on the road, some was on gravel park-access road, and still some more was on trails. If you'd like to see a trail map, here is a topographical map, and here is the race map. Note "Steel Hill" (uphill) on the race map. That was where I walked. Well, it was the only place I walked on the first lap. I walked a couple of other times on the second lap. But Mike and I did pass a runner while we were walking up Steel Hill.
My first 20K was right at 2 hours. My final time was 4:05.55, which was good enough for eighth overall and second in age group. I was so happy to get to the finish line that I almost cried. It was a beautiful sight (we finished on a long, gradual hill that seemed much longer the second time around). I found out that there are awards for the top three finishers in each age group, but that they will be mailed. So that's pretty cool.
In the meantime, I have a blister on my toe and I am wiped out. But if I can run this, the marathon shouldn't be all that big of a deal.