With my job as a Tech Rep, I was so very lucky to have the opportunity to run one last 50 miler before the year was out in Chattanooga, TN. To put this into perspective: I have always heard such great things about the city of Chattanooga, its people, the racing community, and the host of races and trails that make the area one of the best in the entire country. Running an ultra in Chattanooga has always been a dream of mine!
As I ended up getting my trip solidified, I was excited to sign-up for the Lookout Mountain 50 miler.
This was a part of the Rock/Creek race series but is now under the "Wild Trails" non-for-profit race management group. The course from what I was able to read online was a fair course with good vertical gain and loss (6,600ft) , had amazing terrain with scenic overlooks, runnable trails, and good long and gradual uphills. I was a fish that had taken a bite on the hook. I knew that after the Virgil Crest Ultra 50 that I had run in late September, I was going to be a little rusty on race tactics but had trained consistently from September and knew this was a prime opportunity to race hard one last time before the year was up so I was going to take it. I knew that this race was going to be an adventure and that in the past years, the race has always brought in some great talent. I was excited to see how I would stack-up to the competition and who knows, maybe run one of the fastest times at the event.
Here is the photo of the course map and design. I was planning on spending the Christmas holiday with my family in Nashville, TN so everything was lining up perfectly. I signed up for the race the week before as I was making my way to DC, Virginia and Tennessee for work and then began to prepare.
My time spent the week out from the event was great with a highlight of running around the heart of Washington DC, having the chance to see honest Abe, Einstein, and other famous tourism destinations in the heart of our Nation's Capitol. I also really enjoyed my time in Lynchburg and Charlottesville, Virginia checking out the running scenes at UVA and Liberty University. My time the day before in Chattanooga was excellent!
Here is my Race Recap:
|Photo Credits: Cole C. All my Race Gear|
I carried with me a much different level of running gear than what I have used before. I was planning on racing with:
*Mcdavid Compression Sleeves
*A Nathan Vapor Air Hydration Vest
*A Handheld bottle in combination with a vest
*Multiple layers, jackets, hats and gloves
*Trusty Mammut Racing shoes with 800 miles of wear.
The weather was looking to be cool: in the 20's in the morning with a high near the mid 50's which for me is an ideal 50 mile temperature range. The body warms so much in the course of 50 miles that these temperatures would mean with proper layers and fueling, I would have to worry about over-heating as much as in traditional summer temperatures. I felt that by carrying a hydration pack, I could comfortably stash my layers without use of a crew or drop bags and could do so comfortably. Also, I was hoping to stash a full set of Boom Gels (10 total) into my Nathan Vapor Air pack without much issue with comfort and weight distribution issues. The Mcdavid sleeves were a chance to try out one of our partner company's products and see how they stack-up with other graduated compression products on the market. I can give you a sneak peak and note that they performed nicely.