Wet, muddy and a little cool. The race course inside of Raven Rock State Park was very scenic, at least in the spots where I took a moment to look around. This was my first time running at Raven Rock and also my first time running with the Southern Pines Ultra Running Club (SPUR) who put on an exceptional race. The event was free, but definitely not a fat ass. They provided a well-stocked aid station with all the typical stuff one expects to find at an ultra. They even provided hamburgers, hotdogs and veggie burgers for after the finish.
The course consisted of 3 laps of two loops each. Loop one was around 5.5 miles and relatively quick in spots. The second loop was around 5.2 miles and provided some more challenging terrain. Consequently, the second loop provided much nicer views than the first, proving that the more difficult trail yields a better view.
I think even in perfect conditions that the trails at Raven Rock would provide a challenge, but rain overnight Friday and Saturday morning amplified that. Rain during the race was off and on and I dropped my waterproof layer within two miles or so of the start.
I learned (and relearned) a few things, met some great people out on the course, and got a little late race encouragement from Ray “The K” Krolewicz, reminding me that being off goal pace isn’t the end of the world. Yesterday wasn’t the first ultra where Ray said something that pulled me out my head and back on course. There is a link to a video interview with Ray at the bottom of this page.
Finish time 6:19, actual distance a little over 32 miles. My Garmin failed after lap two loop one (half way point) so I only have data for half the race, but Lap 1 took just under 1:53. I need to spend more time running on mountain goat trails to get faster on hilly courses like this one.
Take a moment to watch this video if you haven’t seen it in the past: