I spent the weekend at the MMT 100 running, but not in the race. I had planned on running MMT 100, way before the Hardrock lottery, taking the Monday off after the race. Coach nixed the 100 race, citing recovery would take too long in peak training time for the July 100. It was a good training weekend for me at MMT 100.
I had several ideas of running routes on the MMT course, most of which evolved around where I could get food-and really more importantly-water. After Coach said “stay off Kerns Mountain” (no reason just to kick rocks through there) my plan was set.
Camp Roosevelt Loop: Park at the Rt 211 parking lot. Take Massanutten White Connector Trail to Orange MMT. Follow MMT orange to Camp Roosevelt.
Then leave Camp Roo, back on MMT Orange, and follow MMT 100 Course up the blue blazed Gap Trail. But then I would take a left onto yellow blazed Scothorn Trail, which intersects back to MMT Orange, and then White Connector back to Rt 211.
Got that? It’s actually very simple, 20 miles total running.
Allison met me at Rt 211 with the purpose of hiking with me to Strickler Knob, located off MMT Orange. She would then return to her vehicle, getting in about 10 miles.
The thunderstorm hit as we climbed up Big Run. It poured! It cooled us off, actually got a little chilly. The rain stopped for just about two minutes, allowing for a photo op:
Then it started pouring again. We climbed up Big Run, passed the intersection with yellow Scothorn, and I saw the trail to the right. It’s an “unofficial” trail, but it is marked with blazes. There was the big red circle nailed to the tree.
The thunderstorm continued on. With thunder. We kept hiking out the trail, passing some hikers. We could already see there was no view-we were socked in with fog. With the thunder continuing, we nixed going any further, and retreated to the MMT Orange. Allison turned back, and I continued on to Camp Roo.
The rain stopped about a 1/2 mile after leaving the Strickler Knob Trail. Oh well.
Can I say Duncan Hollow was a pleasant experience today?
But you have to put that in perspective. I had about four miles of running on my legs; the weather had just dropped from 86F to about 73F; and I was soaked and a bit chilly from the rain. Unlike the usual Ring situations:
I arrive at Camp Roo, get my water refilled and drink a Boost. I run into Kevin Martin, who is in Hardrock 2015, waiting for his runner, Dave Peterman. The hot weather is really cooking runners, who are hitting the road sections on the east in this time of day. I spend an hour at the aid station talking. Finally, I am getting a bit chilled in my wet clothes, and take off down the trail.
I successfully find the yellow Scothorn Trail and start down it. I jump when I hear a loud crash in the woods-random tree falling? Bear? Oh well, nothing followed me so I make it back to my vehicle at Rt 211.
Bird Knob Loop
I do a complete clothing change as I am still damp from the rainstorm earlier, and eat a tuna fish sandwich (all I had packed) and a serving of Ultragen. I leave my vehicle about 1130 pm and make my way to the Picnic Area Aid Station.
I had been thinking about a nice alcoholic beverage at the Picnic Area (of course we have booze at Aid Stations!!) but decided having a cup of Coke would suit me better. I hung around PA for awhile, then decided to walk up to the Visitor Center and run the loop the same way the MMT 100 course follows.
The Harris Boyzz
I was very pleased to see as I entered the aid station that the Harris family had arrived. Slim and his son Pinball (also known as Jim and Heath) had arrived. We all left for the Bird Knob hike together.
Jim was struggling on his climbs, with low energy, and stopped for a nap at Bird Knob. Heath was all chipper to go on, so we run down the road from the Aid Station, passing a few other runners. Heath was STILL chipper and dropped me on the climb up Browns Trail, a very under rated climb at MMT.
Heath waited at the top for me and we started down the various ups and downs. It’s a tedious downhill, if you can call a downhill tedious. Heath’s second wind has now worn off, and he’s also looking for the aid station for a little nap.
Hey! Then we are back at Picnic Aid Station. My running is almost over for the night. I’ve got 1.6 miles from the aid station to my bed, my vehicle at Rt 211. I have a beer and a sandwich, and hang out for a bit, thinking I will accompany Heath as far as Rt 211.
But Heath wakes up, has a cup of soup, and zoom! He’s out of the Aid Station. He only has one more Aid Station to go, and he’s back to the finish line.
It’s almost dawn when I get back to my vehicle, where some crew vehicles have arrived to. I strip clothes quickly, because I have to wash some of the crud off my body before I crash in the back. That helps, and I get about 1.5 hours sleep before waking up and driving to Camp Roosevelt.
Harris Boyzz Finish
I am having great luck with timing with Heath at MMT. I arrive at Camp Roo, take a “cold shower” and decide to just hang out at the finish line..just as Heath finishes!
I was able to get a Slim finish pic also!
It was a pretty low key profile for me at the finish line. I really didn’t feel like socializing. Afterwards, I heard people were looking for me, and I wished I had been more sociable. It still really ties in with my sister’s death; I just haven’t been wanting to be that interactive with folks.
I got in 20 miles on Saturday, and 12.5 miles on Sunday morning and then on Monday (next post) adventures on trail with Mongold!