Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Whiteface Mtn uphill footrace: 09/13/2014
There’s not much that I haven’t already said about the Whiteface Mountain Uphill Footrace (2013, 2012), except that if there’s a race that I have to run each year, this is it. Because it’s New York’s fifth highest peak, because of its Olympic heritage and skiing history, because of the pure challenge of running 3600 vertical feet uphill in 8 miles.
this (and I still would have loved it, probably even more).
I’ve often said that the hardest portion of the race is the first three miles from Wilmington to the Toll House. Usually, once I clear the Toll House and start up the Whiteface auto road proper, a steady, sustainable pace feels more natural. Maybe I was just less competitive than other years, but this year the pacing seemed easy right from the start. If that means I left a couple minutes on the table, so be it. I ended up crossing the finish line in 1:29:43, 29th out of 87 finishers (results), but this is a race I run to finish, not for a time. Two 70+ runners and one 80+ runner finished as well – how’s that for inspiring?!
After finishing, I climbed the quarter mile trail to the summit. As if to show who’s really in charge, the cloud level dropped and engulfed the summit. Even in swirling clouds and a 30 mph wind the summit’s a cool place.
I never really upped my training for Whiteface or Moreau Lake (the week before), I just ran my usual 4 miles on the bike trail three times a week with the occasional trail run thrown in. No speed workouts, no hills, no distance. I want to run for fun and to stay in shape and still have time for biking, hiking and other activities. Those two races left me pretty wiped out for 24 hours or so, yet if anything, I’m now feeling stronger than I felt all season. That’s a good thing – the Gore Mountain Leaf Cruncher trail 5K is this coming weekend.