Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Mountain of Fun at Red Top Rumble 11.5m

The Red Top Rumble 11.5 mile race is one that I have been looking forward to for quite some time now. Not only is it held on some of the most scenic trails near Atlanta (Red Top Mountain State Park), but a number of my friends would be joining me on this beautiful, early spring morning.

However, I was a little anxious when I woke up on Sunday morning. The debacle at Runnin' the Rocks the previous week had my confidence level at an all-time low. Would I be able to run well and finish the race strong? I really wasn't sure.

MJ, Kelly, Matt and I met up to carpool. Kelly was running late because of some unexpected road closures and we were going to give her hard time. However, when she got out of her car with a mullet wig, none of us could keep a straight face. We all just lost it!
We're pretty serious around here.

After a short 45 minute ride, we arrived at the Iron Horse Trail head and checked in. Janice Anderson was among those manning the check in station. We chatted for a little bit. It turns out that Janice finally got surgery on her leg and is hobbling around on crutches now. Feel better, Prez!

At the start we also met up with David Newman who would be running with this dog, Maco. After some quick instructions from the RD we were all off.

MJ, Kelly, Matt, Brian, Maco the dog, Newman and yours truly (after the race).

I was ready to get into a groove early knowing that the first 3+ miles would be the least challenging. After a few minutes, I settled in right behind a guy who I see at seemingly every race I go to (his long hair and tye-die shirt make him hard to miss). We chatted for a bit and would zig-zag the entire race and caught up afterwards as well. I may see him at Oak Mountain next month.

The weather was perfect (40s and sunny), the scenery breathtaking and the company outstanding. One of my favorite songs came on and I was contemplating how very fortunate we all were to be running out there that morning. (Here is the youtube version of that song, in case you're bored).

Soon after, we entered the first aid station, where I ran into Jason Rockman. After a quick hello, I was off to the connector trail for about .5 miles (from Iron Horse to the camp ground) that GUTS members had been working on for weeks in preparation of this race. That was the only technical section of the race. However, from here on out, the trails would either go up or down the whole time. They will hit you pretty hard if your quads aren't ready for it. (Thankfully, mine were holding up very well today.)

Course profile as captured by my Garmin.

I was chugging along well but was always holding back just a bit, because of my experience the previous week. In the end, I had plenty left in the tank and probably passed seven or eight people on the last 1+ mile. I was happy with my finishing time (1:35) even though it could have been better. Today was all about fun and enjoying the time on the trails.

One after another, the rest of the crew trickled in. All of us made it under two hours. I was pretty proud of those guys, since it was the first trail race for all of them.

MJ finishing strong... was Matt.

Kelly all smiles after the race.

At this point, I need to say a big THANK YOU to RD Jaydene Reardon and all of the volunteers. The race was superbly organized, the trails perfectly marked and fluids as well as moon pies were aplenty. Also, thank you to all those who helped out with the trail work. It's a great addition to the park. This was the firs time the Red Top Rumble was held. Hopefully, we can have it again next year!


Jason Rockman said...

It was great seeing you today. You were looking strong my friend. Nice job on the strong finish. Will drop you a line in a few weeks as I should be back to hitting it hard by then.

Gotta Run said...

After reading your report i am even more pumped about my first trail event for 2008 this coming weekend.

thanks for sharing. love the photos as well.

Scott Dunlap said...

Excellent! Way to break in a new race. Looks like a lot of fun.

Maco is super cute. ;-)


adamlentz said...

congrats on the great finish. you've got me looking into some trail races now. i'm thinking about a half marathon in may in Troy, NC. If you schedule works out maybe you can make the trip up. 2008 Ramble Trail 1/2