Peak Blood Ultra 30 Mile Race Report

I found my people today!

What a great day.

The Peak Blood Ultra 30 Mile course was tough: two big climbs, so much mud, branches everywhere,  and it was 30 miles.

I went out knowing that I would walk most of uphills and that turned out to be a good strategy. The first climb seemed to last forever and when I finally got to the top it was like my legs forgot how to run. I’m so glad I tapered this week and started this race on fresh legs instead of using it as a training run. While the course was hard I never had the ache-all-over feeling I had at the TARC 50K a few weeks ago.

The best part of the race was the aid station people. They were so wonderful and kind and helpful.

The best part of the day was meeting two runners, Janine and Bob.

I started talking to Jeannine in the parking lot and she was clearly nervous. She told me how she randomly signs up for races and didn’t know how she would fare today. Sounds familiar; it’s me since 2007. Her new nickname is #1 since she finished First Female. Pretty good results considering she said she is primarily a road runner.

Bob and I started talking after the first climb. He had an M Dot on his calf but Ironman talk came later – he is running the Leadville 100 and the Leadville marathon this year. He raced the 100 last year but DNF’d before dark now he has a coach and going to the camp. I had so many questions about his race, nutrition, gear. We talked about Leadville and triathlon for most of the race. It’s so much more fun to run with someone to take your mind off the pain.

At the finish I teased the race director about the three mile loop at mile 22. The trail wasn’t even a trail; it was bushwhacking. Bob noted that it was very Barkley-ish. My legs are so cut up from the briars. Why would they put that so close to the end? WHY WHY WHY? The race organizers were so fun and engaging to every racer. Such a fun day. Plus, I was completely surprised to be told I was second female and got a plaque.

It was a good day on an interesting, unique course in the mountains of Vermont so close to where I used to live in Killington. Driving to Vermont is always such a pleasure since it seems like such a different world as soon as you cross the Connecticut River. And it brings back such great memories of living in Vermont, oh so long ago. I drove by the river on Route 100 and remembered it was where my friends and our dogs would play during the hot summer.

I will do  this race again. They change the course every year so running it once doesn’t matter. Despite cursing out loud about the mud and loose branches, I loved the course and the event. Highly recommend. It was an unknown adventure I signed up for since they don’t post the course prior to the race, and that is exactly what I got. Plus, I met some new training partners.

Heading into a big mileage weekend

It’s Saturday and I just got back from a warm-up hike with Winnie.

4 miles around Marjory Swope

And hitting Jerry Summit twice for some added vert.

Now it’s time to head out for 25 miles. I’ve been fighting a head cold that is now heading into my lungs but it’s very minor. However, yesterday running up hills was hard!

I’m heading for the hills west of Concord and not sure what the mileage of the first loop will be. The plan is to come back to my house to refuel and then head out again to finish the miles. It’s wet and muddy out there but I’m up for the challenge.

Tomorrow is a hike up north for a 4,000 footer and then a 13 mile recovery run. This is it. This is what I have to do to get strong and be ready for 100 miles.

Mount Cabot

Mount Cabot

The drive to the trailhead was two hours which included a drive through Berlin and the Berlin Fish Hatchery. It is a true north country town and there were a lot of ATVs out and about.

Mount Cabot
The start of the hike to Mount Cabot.

I really liked the trail and it was extremely hard. All the leaves covering the trails made it tricky to run so it was mostly a fast hike.

Kilkenny Ridge Trail
At the Kilkenny Ridge Trail junction.

My favorite part was running on the Kilkenny Trail which was mostly a ridge run.

Mount Cabot, 4,170 feet.

Kilkenny Ridge Trail
The summit. I really like the Kilkenny Ridge Trail and saw a few trail runners on it. Great hike to the summit.

Bunnell Notch Trail
At the end of the Bunnell Notch Trail. As the sun came out at the end of our hike the colors popped. Gorgeous.

North Twin hike during peak foliage in NH

North Twin October 2018

Saturday’s hike was epic. North Twin 4,761, 8.6 miles round trip during peak New Hampshire foliage.

North Twin from the outlook selfie.

4,000 footer #2 for Winnie and #43 for me!

We had to cross the Little River six times.

The Little River

After slipping on a rock half way through the first crossing I decided for safety I would just walk through the water and not worry about rock hopping. My Injinji socks and Pearl Izumi trail shoes quickly dried enough to not give me blisters.

The fall foliage was beautiful and the lighting just right:

Peak foliage in NH on the North Twin trail.

We saw a few dogs and about 20 people total which isn’t much considering the drive past Lafayette trailhead with cars parked for miles on I-93. I can’t image hiking Lafayette with all those people. One family hiked North Twin with children who looked 5-years-old – amazing! So many smaller groups that loved Winnie and petted her.

Winnie at the top of North Twin on October 6, 2108

North Twin trail sign
Top of the mountain. We took the outlook trail to see the view.

She’s getting less scared of people on the trail which is nice.

A great day to be on the trail. I had great conversations with hikers about hiking the 4,000 footers and other trails.

The view of the trail while almost to the summit.

Then after driving home I met my mom to see to movie, A Star is Born.

Saturday Hike, Run, Walk (for a cause) Plan for Sunday

Saturday dawned with a big list of things to do (all accomplished by the way). I need the list to get things done. I’ve learned that when I have a list when I go to bed the night before everything gets done.

  1. Hike with Winnie
  2. 4 Mile run (because it was the plan)
  3. Out of the Darkness Benefit Walk with Jeff & Winnie
  4. Lunch with Mom & Dad (we love the Common Man)
  5. Plan for Sunday’s hike
  6. Work outing at Mel’s
    I’m pooped and reading to head north tomorrow for a great hike in finally cool temps. High for tomorrow: 65!