As with most point-to-point race, the logistic is a little more complicated to begin with. This year, a fire has affected the campground where the finish area is and the park ranger made a last-minute order that parking at the finish was not allowed. That changed the whole plan. Hats off to RD David Lee for making quick adjustments which worked out smoothly. However, it still added another leg of shuttle for those who were shuttling to the start. We were fortunate that Kate was volunteering and she was able to drop us off at the start and pick us up again at the finish.
4:30 a.m., Kate picked me up to meet Rob, Paul, and Wendy for a 5 a.m. carpool departure. We made it to the start with ample time for packet pickup. Many familiar faces like Peter from Vac and Dash, Sharon Davis, Richard Hefner, and even Jim Wei were already there. I chatted with a couple of them until a few of my hardcore friends like Jen and Rob decided to go for a warm-up run.
|Paul, Rob, Wendy, me, and Kate at the start|
Though my calves were feeling better, I decided to keep taking it easy and enjoy the winding road through the woods. I caught up with a couple people and got to run a little bit with more familiar faces, including Brian Johnson, the RD of OVT trail race. Down, down, down, I go.
After a couple miles came the first "uphill." Right before that was a longer stretch of straight road which gave me a glimpse of the runners in front of me. I was surprised to see quite a few people not too far ahead. Believe it or not, the flat/uphill was a relieve for me. Downhill is not my strong suit and I was just getting bored with it. Perhaps energized by the change of terrain, I closed the gap a little more without intending. Soon enough, the screaming downhill resumed.
|This is how the majority of the course is like.|
Well, the last section of the race was just like the first two. More down, then two more miles of flat/slight incline, and we are done! At the last stretch, I saw Jen again and this time, Jinni Austin as well. It's almost like running in Charlotte.
Although I hate to say it, but I am indifferent to the course itself. However, I'd do it again for the company. Overall, I'm thankful for a fun and memorable (thanks to Paul) day spent running and hanging out with friends.