Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Doyle's Emerald Necklace

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 US National Mountain Running Championship Race- Cranmore

Cranmore Mt Race- Start of the second lap. Photo by Joe Viger
And that^^ photo is only the beginning of a photo laden post. Good thing the rest of the week was pretty uneventful, resulting in less photos than usual. Haha. Just so hard not to document this race with photos since it was so awesome! My 7th National Mountain Running Championship race and I FINALLY made top 10!! The closest I'd come prior to this was 16th in 2011. Other places were 29th, 31st and 28th at three Loon Mountain Races and a 22nd at Cranmore in 2013. I never thought I would ever make top 10, but I had hope for this year. The field wasn't stacked, and this was my ideal course, so I knew it was possible. I figured if I was ever going to do it, it would be this year. Well, goal was met! I'll write more about it in the full race report below (ok...FAR below).

As far as the rest of the week, I was completely trashed after the double race weekend. As in, I was really worried about Cranmore. I was insanely sore and just worn out. I knew the days leading up to Cranmore had to be complete recovery days. Any running I did was very short and slow. I ended up with a total 29.8 miles for the week (Haha! There it is again! Only .2 from 30 miles!). I still only took the one usual Monday zero, but the other days were basically Neros. Haha. Funny, though. Total elevation gain for the week was 7,398ft!! Craziness. So what I lacked in miles, I made up with elevation. 5 times up Cranmore over the week will do it. Haha. I can't say I felt recovered by Saturday, though. My legs were still sore, both hamstrings (not the injury) and quads were still feeling the weekend before, but it didn't seem to hurt me as far as I know. Speaking of hamstrings, just based on two weekends of good races, it might be safe to say the high hamstring injury isn't really affecting my speed or performance on the trails and mountains. It's definitely still there; I can always feel it, some days more than others, but I really believe I've been able to strengthen my legs and glutes enough to compensate for the injury. So things are looking up right now; I just have to make sure I don't do anything too stupid to ruin that, like, let's say doing the Mt Washington Road Race and then turning around and doing the Ribfest 5-Mile Race the next day. Oh wait. Oops. Already in the cards. Hahaha! Ribfest will strictly be about "participation" in the Grand Prix. Kind of like Amherst, I'm doing it just to do it and not expecting much. Time to get on with the week and race report...

Monday, May 29, 2017- Woke up very, very tired and sore. I was happy for a slow day at work for the most part because I could barely function. I actually lied down on my bed almost all day. I did finally drag myself to the treadmill for a 2-mile walk. We had a few 911 calls, but nothing overnight. I wasn't expecting to feel this run down and sore.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017- I wasn't feeling any better than Monday. I left work and went to White Lake State Park to run the Around the Lake Trail twice. Completely flat... and that was a struggle. I added on the Pitch Pine Trail Loop on the second time around to give me another half mile. Total mileage was 4.5 miles in 41:47. It felt like 10 miles. Junk legs. There would be no second run today.

Drove right to the Sandwich Spring from here to fill up my water jugs. The rain would start shortly thereafter and last all day, which was good because as soon as I got home I had to once again clean the whole house. My parents were coming to visit for 3.5 days the next day. It wouldn't have been so bad... if I had actually cleaned my own room the last two times. My parent's would be using my bedroom, so I had to really clean up my clutter, cobwebs and dust. I think I spent two hours on my room alone. The floors were the worst, as usual, due to the constant rain, a dirt driveway and dogs. By the time I was done, though, the place looked great! I had moved into John's room (that he doesn't really use), and he moved down to the futon in the alcove. Little did I know, he would end up not wanting to leave it and referred to it as his Man Cave. Hahaha.

John's "Man Cave"
The most upset over the displacement was Spot who was extremely unhappy not to able to sleep in my room and on my bed. She made her disgust known to me by sitting in front of me constantly and just staring. She also decided to get on the couch she's not allowed on every second she could get away with it.

Spot letting me know she wasn't happy about her move out of the bedroom.
I didn't finish cleaning until it was time for John's ninja class, and I still had to go to the store during that. I hardly sat down all day, but I still managed to get in 15 minutes of upper body and abs. Then it was beer time. This one really hit the spot.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017- Still felt beat to shit and did not want to get up at 4:15am to run. Waaahhh! But I did. Still crazy sore, so another slow and short run it was. 4.6 miles on the roads in 38:21 for a short Conway loop via Cranmore Shores and Conway Village. A struggle.

Only one call at work for the entire 24 hour shift. I spent most of the day doing some work-related stuff and writing my last blog post. It was sunny outside all day, so I finally got myself out to walk...just as a thunderstorm rolled in. Haha. Pretty cool to watch it during my walk, but then I had to cut it slightly short at 1.7 miles.



My parents arrived at the house late afternoon and sent me a photo via text to show what they had found when they walked in.

Busted! My dad with Spot
Thursday, June 1, 2017- Even though my parents were there, I still had to get a run after I got off work. I typically do the Cranmore course every year a few days beforehand, so I thought this would be a good day to do it, so I drove over there, changed clothes in my car and then headed out. I was confused at first since Paul had to change the start/finish due to construction, but once I found it, I was on my way up, up, up through the fog until I broke through the clouds!


View from the top of Koessler, the steepest part of the course. Race course flag there.



As you can see, I stopped a lot during the loop. I also ran it very slowly. The course was just as I remembered, except I forgot how hard the very first LONG climb is. I actually found it harder than Koessler. I was surprised to find the downhill had been cleared of leaves through the woods this year. Boo! Haha! But it was probably a good idea since it was the National Championship. As I came down onto the wet grassy slope, I went down on my left side suddenly, slid about 3 feet on the grass and then popped right back up on my feet! Haha. I was laughing and soaked and super excited to find even more wet and mud as I ran on. Yes!! I was thinking this could very well be the year I do well enough to make top 10!

At the bottom, I had originally planned to run over to the mountain bike trails for a loops to finish off my run, but since I had run so slowly the first loop, I decided to go ahead and run a second one, so back up I went. I was quickly reminded that switching gears from the long downhill back to the long uphill was not easy. I was about half way up the first long climb when I heard a snort behind me that sounded just like a bear snort when they're trying to scare you away. Scared the shit out of me because I thought a bear was right behind me, so I turned around to find no bear, but instead Joe Gray! I'm not really one to be a fan of well-known people, but I found myself a little flustered and star struck for a minute. I said hi as he quickly passed by me. He mentioned he had seen me running so he followed hoping I was on the course. It was a short exchange since he passed me like I was standing still. Like a goofball dork who wanted to brag to her friend that Joe Gray had just passed her, I quietly snapped a photo of him as he ran ahead of me. Haha. The sun was completely in my face, and I had no idea what I was taking, so it wasn't until I was back at my car that I found the completely amazing photo I had snagged of him!

Joe Gray running through the fog up Cranmore
He quickly ran on ahead of me until he was completely out of sight. As I approached Koessler, I ran into Lisa Carper and Cassie (can't remember her last name), two girls who were on the local cross-country team the one season I helped out with it in 2013. Lisa was scoping out places to shoot photos at the race. I stopped and talked to them briefly before heading up Koessler. I could still see Joe off in the distance as he ran the ENTIRE way up Koessler. I could only power hike up it, except for two very, very short sections where I was able to run briefly.

I ran on and didn't make it far down when I ran into Joe. I passed him then moved aside so he could pass me back. I was shocked when he chose to run the rest of the way with me. I'd never talked to him before so it was cool getting to talk with him about the race and upcoming stuff, etc. Not like we're best buds or anything now, but it was really neat getting to know him a little bit since I'd never talked to him before. Just a really nice, super cool guy. I really appreciated him taking the time to accompany on the rest of the run and hanging out after to chat some more. Finished off the run with exactly 6.2 miles in 1:19:18 (moving time). Crazy slow. Had me a little nervous that I was going to do horribly at the race Saturday. I think normally this mindset would have taken hold and probably stopped me from doing well, but I have to say that the positivity that came from Joe really helped boost my mentality. I was all of sudden super pumped about Cranmore. So excited that I went home and put on my USA Mountain Running shirt. It's amazing what someone you just met can do for you when they are encouraging and optimistic themselves.

I went right home to see my parents. It was nice of them to come for a visit, and it actually went really well. It was nice having them as company in my home again; it was two years ago the last time they visited. The only downer was this is prime time bug season. I had never taken them to the Madison Boulder before, so we did venture over there. Got eaten alive so it was a quick down to the boulder, a "Yeah, that's nice. Let's go," and we were back at the car. Haha.



I was trying to come up with things to do, so we went down to the Sap House Meadery in Center Ossipee. Unfortunately, that didn't go well, as my mom couldn't drink more after the first two tastings, so we were in and out of there fast. I'll have to go back when I can hang out with a beer and have some $3 tacos. Haha. We did come home with their coffee mead; it was so good. I'll have to break that open soon.

We were home for the night after that. My mom cooked clam chowder for us. Do you know how nice it is for someone else to cook for you?! It happens very rarely in my life...unless you count restaurants. Haha. But a good home cooked meal?! So nice and so good. I was able to relax with my dad and John while my mom made dinner. I was still so pumped about Cranmore that even drank a beer out of my Cranmore glass. Dork!


I was able to get my upper body and abs workout in before my parents went to bed since all of my workout equipment is in my room. This would be the last time I could get a workout in until Sunday, so it was yet another 3-day upper body week. Ugh. They went to bed shortly thereafter, so I had a little quiet time to watch TV before I went to my top bunk bed in John's room.


Friday, June 2, 2017- I slept in then had a lazy morning with my parents. I didn't know what we were going to do today. There isn't much to do around here indoors away from the bugs. John did his regular morning routine with his dad, so I took a run from home up Heavenly Hill and over to Tin Mountain for a random loop and then back. I brought Spot and Phoenix along since my plan was a very slow jogging pace. Phoenix was surprisingly good... until the very last half mile when she took off for 10 minutes. Brat! 5.5 miles total in 1:04:37 with 1,168ft of elevation gain. I can hardly call this a run because it was literally more like a jog.

Hung out at the house for a long time until I decided we needed to do SOMETHING so I drove them into North Conway to go to Ben & Jerry's. Only my dad and John had ice cream (I didn't want to ruin my dinner at the Moat later). A stop at Fields of Ambrosia and then into the White Mountain Winery. I tried to get them to do a tasting, but they weren't interested so we left. Coffee at The Met and then headed to Tuckerman Brewing for Cranmore packet pickup.



I left my parents and John in the car while I ran in. Said I'd be right back. Hahaha. Me go in a brewery and come right back?! Hysterical! Funny. Just as I was walking in, so was Joe! Cool. I only talked to him briefly, but his positive energy was still there. Of course after I walked in, I see Scott Mason with beer. I knew there would be no running in-and-out of here. How could I say no to Scott's stout in his flight?! And then people I know started showing up! I'm such an asshole because I was in there for like 30 minutes!


Mason and Brightman! Two of the worst instigators when it comes to drinking more!
I finally forced myself out of there. They had been content in there waiting patiently. I admitted that I had a beer and couldn't pry myself away. Haha.

Later that night, just my parents and I went out to the Moat. John said he wanted to stay home in his Man Cave. Haha. I was crazy starving by this point and ended up eating an entire hamburger, brussell sprouts, sweet potato fries AND two beers. Holy crap! I was glad my race wasn't until 10:30am. I was going to need those extra hours to digest. Haha. Talked to Scott Mason, Steve Brightman and Rachel Flaksman, who was there with her son, Liam, before we left the Moat. Then it was home!

I ended up not sitting down much the rest of the evening. I made dinner for John when we got home. My parents went to bed early. I tried to stay awake for awhile, but I finally got in bed. I was crazy nervous about the next day!

Saturday, June 3, 2017- Cranmore Mountain Race- US National Mountain Running Championship!

I ended up being a woman of many faces this morning. Even though my race wasn't until 10:30am, I was up at 5:15am and out the door at 6am. I had worked out the ambulance detail between acidoticRACING and North Conway Ambulance to make sure we had a truck on site the entire race instead of just having the duty crew stage (this means they leave for 911 calls). I offered to work the ambulance through the men's race and then my coworker Eric would take over from 10-12 while I raced. My boss worked it out so that they would only be charged for 2 hours of the whole detail. So it all worked out. The duty crew would be called for any transports, and we would end up having a local paramedic and crew on the Cranmore end up on the mountain in case they were needed.

At the same time, I was also volunteering for registration, which was why I was there so early. Registration never got crazy busy. I was in charge of handing out shirts which ended up being funny because I said more no's than handed out shirts. People had to pre-order shirts, but more people came up thinking they were included in the entry fee or thought they ordered one but didn't. "Nope!" was my word of the day. Haha. Nancy Hobbs came in to take pictures. My mouth was stuffed with food, and I did my best to hide it, but you can tell I look funny.


When it was time for the men's race to start, it was time for a new shirt. Time to be an EMT! I brought along my bright pink EMT shirt so that I could easily be spotted in the crowd then hurried over to watch the men's race with Regina. Watching that race was so much fun! Knowing so many of the guys running and cheering. And such a fast field. What seemed like way back from the front of the pack, those guys were still running crazy fast times. My favorite part was seeing who had fallen when they came through after the first lap. Matt Veiga was definitely one of the muddiest. Haha. I couldn't help but head over to finish line and congratulate Brandon Newbould and Dan Button who both finished top 10. This was short-lived because I started to have patients arriving with wounds. Haha. A lot of falls out there. The first guy had a pretty decent gash from hitting a rock, but it was nothing crazy. Scrubbed out his wounds then sent him on his way. My partner had arrived by this point. We ended up giving out all two bags of ice I brought by the end of the day. Haha.

It was time to hand off my EMT duties to my coworker so that I could change into my third shirt for the day. RUNNER! My Central Mass Striders singlet. This was today's serious shirt. I ended up using the ambulance for my dressing room which was super convenient. Haha.

Brought Flat Scott along
After I was dressed, I hit the bathroom and then went out for a warm up. I never do more than a mile before this race. Usually just a half mile uphill then back down. I took off straight up the slope we would start in. And would you believe it? I ran into Joe Gray. Haha. He had been off to the side talking to someone when I went by, but then the next thing I knew, Joe was behind me and said something like, "Are we really running together again?" Haha. It was a short run, but in that time, he gave some pointers on the course since it was a lot more chewed up since Thursday. He left me with words of encouragement before I turned around and he continued up the mountain. Pretty crazy, but I'm glad I got to experience his positive vibe once again right before my race. Definitely calmed my nerves a bit.

Back at the base, I hit the bathroom one more time before lining up on the line. Although not as intimidating as previous National Championships, there were still quite a few boy shorts and sports bras on perfect running bodies up front. Funny enough that only one woman in the top ten was actually wearing one of those outfits. They all looked fast, but I tried not to think of it. I lined up next to Jamie Woolsey, Regina Loiacano, Amber Ferreira and Sarah Canney. I felt comfortable among my friends right there. They are those woman with whom I compete on the course, but consider friends on and off the course.

I started to get butterflies because the start of a mountain race is always hard. They usually go right uphill, and I find it takes some to get yourself under control, like your breathing and pace, when everyone around you is starting off fast. I had no idea where I would be after the first 100 yard climb up. Finally, it was time. I was ready to just get the start over with and find my groove. Next thing I knew we were off. And damn, it went off fast. I have no idea how many women were ahead of me by the top of that first short hill before the course turned right to cut across the slope.

Josh Fields captured this about a quarter mile into the start. I'm so clean!
I was probably 18th or 19th, maybe even 20th when we hit the LONG climb up to the top of the ski lift and Beginner's Luck. Suzy West passed me early on, which ended up being good for someone to latch on to. I remember passing two runners fairly quickly, but the group ahead was large, and the top women were already FAR ahead. Regina was just ahead in a pack of women, so I kept my eyes on her most of the time to help me stay focused and not let up. There's a nice reprieve just past the ski lift, so I really pushed it here to the base of Koessler...and then I started power hiking. Jamie caught up with Suzy and me pretty quickly, as I expected, but about a quarter of the way up, I decided to give a little more effort. I debated whether or not to do this on the first lap, but I felt I really needed to gain on the group of women just ahead of me if I wanted to be able to catch them on the downhill. So I basically just told myself to go for it and started power hiking harder. I passed Suzy. Jamie followed suit. Kept my eyes ahead and found that I was actually making ground on all of them...except Regina. Haha. At one point, we came up on Andy Drummond who was taking photos on Koessler. Totally made me laugh.


Photo bomb dude cracks me up.
I continued to climb, mostly power hiking other than those two very short sections where I could somewhat jog. I was actually feeling pretty strong here, but still nervous I was burning myself out early. The pain was briefly forgotten about when some spectator was trying to hike up the other side of the slope and just started falling down. I couldn't help but laugh. Finally, I saw Regina crest the top of the hill with a large group in tow that I had been gaining on quickly towards the end of Koessler.

There's a slight downhill before the course continues back up on single track switchbacks to the Meister Hut. I actually found this section to be the hardest for me on both laps, but I gained some ground.

On the switchbacks. Photo by Lisa Carper.

Headed up to the Meister Hut in hot pursuit. My butt looks huge. Oh wait. It is! But I still like this shot because I would end up beating every single one of them. Photo by Lisa Carper.
By the time we hit the Meister Hut and topped out, I was 16th woman. By the time we topped back out the second time and started the long decent, I would be 13th. Still just ahead of me would Sarah Wagner, another master, and the girl leading the pack in this last photo. It was time to bust it out! I passed Sarah and another woman pretty quickly. Took me a little longer to catch the girl who had been leading the pack and then I came up on Amber who had been 5th at the top. Amber is an amazing uphiller. Truly! But put Amber on a steep downhill, and she, um, isn't so great. I laugh as I write this because she is the best sport about it and totally laughs at herself at how slow she is on the downhill. In a week and a half, Amber will probably beat me by over 15 minutes at Mount Washington, so it's cool all the different strengths at play in any given race.

I continued to fly down the mountain to the point where I was nearly alone by the time I came by the start/finish area. And holy shit, I was in 9th place!! Top ten...yet so close to being easily taken away. I knew that at this point, if anyone passed me, I had to stay close so that I would have time to pass them back on the down. That was the good thing about all of the women right behind me. I knew I could beat every single one of them on the downhill. This uphill was really what was going to make or break it for me. Dammit.

Loving every second of the downhill. Photo by Michael Scott

Photo by Fred Ross

Passing the start/finish to begin the second loop. USATF photo.
As I made the turn to start back up the hill, I was shocked to see Regina right there! She seemed so close! But in mountain races this is often an illusion. In fact, Regina would be "right there" the entire way up...when she was really a minute ahead the whole time. I knew the women I had just passed would be in hot pursuit, and I expected them to pass me right away since shifting gears back to the uphill hurt A LOT!

Starting the second loop. Photo by Roger Marcoux.
As we started the long climb up, my eyes stayed on Regina. I could see the 7th woman pretty far ahead of her and not a single other woman. The front of the pack was long gone! My legs burned like no tomorrow, but I really pushed. I kept expecting someone to pass me, but they didn't. I couldn't believe no one had caught me by the time we reached Koessler. Well, that was short-lived. I turned around to see Amber and Sara right behind me.

 Attempting to stay ahead of Amber and Sara. Photo by Lisa Carper

Amber and Sara gaining on me up Koessler, the 2nd time
Amber made me laugh as she caught up and passed me. Laughter definitely helps when you're in that pain cave. She passed me by completely not far from the top of the slope. I watched Regina crest the top and disappear. It would be the last time I could see her. We hit the single track switchbacks and this is where I struggled yet again. My legs felt like jello. This part should have been easy after Koessler, but Sara went by me like I was standing still. Back at the top by the Meister Hut, I was 11th, but I had a huge smile on my face. I knew I had 9th in the bag...although it would be closer than I thought!

We continued down the backside of the summit and then up the service road back to the summit. Sara passed Amber here, and I ended up right behind Amber as we started the downhill. I passed her and then set my sights on Sara. This is when I learned that Sara had held back on this section on the first lap. She was moving much faster this time around, but I was still gaining on her quickly and passed her about a third of the way down. I never looked back. I just kept cranking it out, running scared, even though I was confident she wouldn't catch me. We came through the last single track that puts you close to the finish. Dave Dunham was at one of the last turns cheering. As I went by, he yelled that there was no one in sight, and then literally like one second later, he yelled that there was someone right behind me! Oh shit!! How did that happen?! There was no taking it easy from here to the finish line. It was all out 'till the end!

Rounding the second to last turn. Photo by Josh Fields
As I came around the building to see the finish line so close, I knew I had done it. She wasn't catching me. I was about to finish 9th at the National Championship. Holy fuck, I did it!! And not only that. I finished 1.5 minutes faster than 2016 and second master woman!! 1:03:46.

Super happy through the finish
Regina had finished over a minute ahead of me and was waiting there for me. She finished top master female for the second year in a row! Sara came in 11 seconds after me. We all hugged. Top 3 masters in the top 10! That's pretty awesome! Full Results

This photo makes me laugh. Like we're getting ready to start dancing with our hands on our hips. Sara, me and Regina. Photo by Fred Ross.
Post race was like a whirlwind. So many people coming up to talk to me. It was awesome. I was on such a high. I just did that at my "hometown" race! Top 10 will probably never happen again, so I had savor every minute of this finish. I kept trying to make my way to my parents, but it was one person after another to talk to. Such an amazing group of people. I finally made my way back to the ambulance. I saw John briefly as he was running around the whole time with Sarah Canney's kids again. He loves playing with them. I ended up helping out at the ambulance a little bit. We had word of a possible broken wrist on the mountain, so I made phone call up to the paramedic who tried to look for her. She ended up walking herself out. Tough lady. The wrist WAS likely broken since it was, well, uh, deformed. Haha. She took a bag of ice and then left with her husband to go to the hospital. This would be our last injury for the day. Lucky to only see minor stuff out there.

I changed clothes in the ambulance, gave my parents directions to Tuckerman Brewing for the after party then took John in the ambulance with me to get it back to the base.

John and I in 60A7
We quickly unloaded and headed to Tuckerman Brewing. The weather was chilly by the time we got there, so I grabbed an extra jacket. The crowd where the beer was was a bit much, so I ended up joining my parents on the other side of the tent when the awards started. Regina joined me, and for once, we got to hang out together for awhile!! Fabienne Pattison and Scott Mason joined us. Steve Brightman snuck me over some Hopeless Romantic from Long Live Beerworks. Scott captured me with my stealth beer.

Pretty sure my mouth was full here, too.
The awards were so much fun! I'm bummed the good top ten photo isn't posted anywhere, but this one is kind of funny since it's so unorganized. Haha.

Top 10! Still in disbelief!
Regina and I would get to stand at the podium 4 times! Not only for top ten and then for 40-44, but we also won open female team and masters female team, along with our teammate, Mary Lammi. Go CMS! The men would also sweep the podium!

Top Open Female Team

Top Female Masters Team with the President of the USATF, Vin Lananna, who seemed to really enjoy the atmosphere of the mountain running community


Scott would capture a great photo of Regina and me just before she had to leave. I'm so lucky to have such a good friend and teammate in my life. I just wish we lived closer!

Regina Loiacano and me
After Regina left, I got another beer and caught up with Rich and Andrea Leonard. Talked a little to Matt Burkett, one of my teammates from the Tuckerman Inferno in 2015. He's working at Tuckerman Brewery now. John had an awesome time at the race and the awards and was finally worn out by the end. He spent the last 30 minutes lying on the corn hole thing. Haha.

John with Sarah Canney's daughter

Scott Mason took this photo of John on the corn hole thing.
On the way out with Rachel, Liam and Scott, we had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Allie Maclaughlin. She was second at the race and is headed to World's! She also happens to be one of the nicest human beings I have ever met. I wish her well at World's!

Rachel and Liam came by the house right after to get a Second Fiddle beer from me and stayed to chat for awhile. That was nice since it was so weird to have a lot of people in my house with us! Company! Who'da thunk that would be so cool?!

John opted out of dinner later at Cafe Noche so my parents and I went and ended up having a long political conversation. Surprisingly it went pretty well. They support Trump. I obviously don't. Those conversations can get heated sometimes, but we actually had a thoughtful discussion. Even the couple at the table spectated instead of talking to each other. I have no idea what they're thoughts were, and I kind of wish they had chimed in. Haha.

By the time we got home, I was beat. My parents had to leave really early the next morning so they were off to bed. Short trip, but they can only do short visits. I wasn't far behind. Such a good day!

Sunday, June 4, 2017- Hair of the Dog Hill Climb-

Well, Cranmore wasn't over yet! Sunday was the uphill only race that Paul and Chris had added on to the weekend. I signed up because I thought it would be fun to do. And I planned to sign John up, too, to walk up. Even though I woke up briefly to say goodbye to my parents, I was able to go back to sleep and sleep in. The race didn't start until 11am which was awesome. When we got there, Chris was nice enough to give John a free entry. I wasn't super sore, but my legs were tired. There was no way I was going to actually race this morning. This would be an easy "jog" to the Meister Hut. Today's course actually went up the previous day's down to change things up. By the time of the start, there were only 12 of us. Andy Wacker and his girlfriend, Carley, were among the 12. I knew who was winning today! Haha. They ended up running it together, and he let her beat him for the overall win. After seeing her fly up the mountain and out of sight, I think she really needs to get into mountain racing! She was fast! As for myself, I didn't have a racing bone in my body today and just casually ran up the mountain. I had left everything out there the day before and couldn't get myself to move any faster. Plus, I was just out there for the fun.

Scott Mason came up to take photos at the finish.
As soon as I finished and Chris got to the top with the drop bags, I ran down to meet John so that I could walk the rest of the way with him. He was only .4 from the top (total distance was 1.4). It was really buggy so he had on his head net. Haha. I brought him water which he needed and then walked the rest of the way.



I told John that Scott Mason was taking pictures at the top, so he said he was going to run through the finish. Freddi Triback and her boyfriend, Brian, joined us for the last climb up the switchbacks, the John took off running just like he said he would!


I love this!!
It was such a beautiful day, but the black flies were pretty bad, so we ventured into the Meister Hut where I grabbed a beer and John a chocolate milk. Ed Sheldon and his wife joined us all up there as spectators, and there were a few families up there just to ride the lift who joined in to watch.


Beer 1. Black Fly 0.
Chris Dunn started the awards and raffle pretty quickly. They were fun since we all won one. He let John pick the numbers, so he loved that. I won $35 for the race and a HookUp pass to Salomon. This was such a fun, small group, and Freddi got us all to do one of her jump photos out on the rock. Haha.


Scott, John and I were the last to leave. The employee doing the lift was nice enough to give us back the lift tickets to use at the Adventure Park instead, but one fell as the chair started down. I sent John to find Chris Dunn to ask for one more pass. He got one then we said bye to Scott and went to the bungee jump. The place was dead so the employees let John keep his pass to use on something else. Haha. We would use those passes for a ride on the Mountain Coaster.



I was pretty beat, but I took Chill and Phoenix up Heavenly Hill when we got back (Spot won't go out when the gun range is active) and then got in an upper body and abs workout. It's safe to say I was all done by that point. I continued on with my dorkiness and wore my Cranmore Hill Climb shirt and posed with my beer. Hey, it's what I do!

Celebrating a successful weekend at Cranmore!!
And OMG! Can you believe there are only FOUR selfies in this post?! Nevermind the other 5 million photos. Just look at that self control. Hahaha!! I had to! The photos went with the story! And now that story is over and it's on to the next! Things are on the up and up! Hopefully, it stays that way!



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