Monday, July 13, 2009

Ascutney

For the last two years, i have been photographing the mountain races and i've had a great time doing it. Yesterday, i decided to be on the other side of the camera and try running one of these things. This would be the first time i have ever done a mountain race. The thought had crossed my mind many years ago when i was a much faster, but i just never pulled the trigger on it. It is also my first race this year without snowshoes under my feet. I knew coming into this that i was in no way ready to race, but what the hell, lets do it anyway.

The day started good with a nice easy 3 mile warmup with all the CMS and other mountain studs. Running wise, that is as good as the day got. Soon after, it was over to the start line to begin this adventure. A few words with Trail Pixie before the gun and we were off. I found that trying to figure out what kind of pace to run up the mountain is not easy, so i just went slow. At about the mile i broke into a power walk which is not much slower than running on the steep sections of road. I kept this up for the next mile or so when it was time to veer onto the trails to the top. This is where it got ugly. The rock strewn trails are steep technical climbs, not condusive to running at all. On top of that, there was much mud, running water and slick footing. For me, being in less than ideal condition, call it fat and out of shape if you will, it was torture. I pulled over a number of times to let faster people through, otherwise you could not pass. I finally made it to the top, it was great to come out of the woods and see the finish line right away. As i made it the final steps, there was Jim Johnson with his camera shooting away. I just had a blank stare towards the camera. Now i know what some of the mountain runners must think when they see me pointing a camera at them on the steep slopes i like to set up on. Oh yeah, Jim also won the race, congratulations JJ. After a long wait for the awards to be given out, we ran back down the mountain road. Probably not the best thing to do as my legs feel shot today, but the knees are good which is very positive.

Now i know what i have to do to get ready for Mt Mansfield in 7 weeks.

If i decide to try Ascutney again next year, i hope that they change the course back to all road.

8 comments:

double-d said...

Nice job. Mansfield is a heck of a lot easier than Ascutney, but you have to pass a lot of people on bikes.

s p running said...

I'm impressed, Scott. Very well done.

GZ said...

Scotty - nice man! As JJ says - mtn racing is too hilly.

Scott Mason said...

Thanks, guys and gal. I guess it is time to really get serious about my running again. I think i remember how to do that.

DoubleJ said...

Scott, kudos for hopping right in and attacking the hill... takes more guts to toe the line when you're not in tip top shape yet and just get a feel for where you are... I had a year of doing that when I came back...some ugly days for sure, but doing that at Ascutney is hard core. Nice job at getting it done! I'll be at Mansfield I think...

David Quintal said...

Nice to see you survived your first mountain race. It sounds like the course was extremely difficult. Keep running and happy training!

Scotty "PHAT" Graham said...

Scott, Way to go!! It's good to see that look of pain on your face as you've captured that look on many of our faces. Pay back can be a B$!!$##

Trail Pixie said...

Scott, Great to see you in motion at the mountain!