Thursday, February 18, 2016

Rocky 50k, Huntsville State Park

With the Snowdrop 55-hour race behind me, and my 100-mile finish still fresh on my mind, it was time for the Rocky 50, in Huntsville.  I have run this course several times, including the old Sunmart 50 mile event, and another 50 mile race, plus two other 100 mile races there at the State Park.  It's a great area, and Tejas Trails always puts on great races.

The 5:45 a.m. start came early, and I took off rather slowly as I navigated across a tough section of roots.  My headlamp was needed early on, and as the trails slowly opened up, we reached the jeep road, which was packed with large rocks.  The Park workers had delivered these rocks earlier for a project, and I have to admit, they were really tough to run across.  The course stretched on and the first loop contained a good amount of hills, although it is called "flat," but the hills really seem to break things up a bit.  The trail also contains some deep sand, which wasn't too difficult to trek through in my Altra Lone Peak trail shoes.  However, as we started out on the second loop, my feet were starting to hurt as we made our way twice more over those rocks.  Actually, on the second loop, everything seemed harder.  The hills seemed higher, the sand felt deeper, the rocks felt harder, and the weather got hotter. 

I took my time through the last section of the course. With only 4 miles left, I slowed down, trying to make sure I did not fall.  Even so, that last section seemed really long.  But as I crossed the finish line, the race director (Chris McWatters) was waiting there and shook my hand.  I felt tired, but I also felt great. 

I obviously highly recommend this race as I do all the Tejas Trail events.  They are first class all the way, and thanks to all the volunteers at the aid stations, who go out of their way to keep runners on their feet and moving forward.  Thanks to everybody for another great running event.  My time was slow at 8 hours and 35 minutes, but my goal was just to enjoy another day on the trails, and that's what I did.