That is one tough course. I thought Mt. Washington was relentless, but after 10 miles of the trails, I was beat. My favorite sign was "Trails Merge/ Gate Ahead". I don't know how to get my head around 18 more miles of that. Two years to think about it.
I felt pretty good the first few miles. Two miles or so on the road/trail before the real stuff begins. I went out at what felt like a fairly moderate pace. I felt good on the first major hill of the trail, and passed 3 or 4 runners. My stomach felt a little queasy at about mile 4, and it came back a couple times later, but it faded quickly each time. I kept a good pace all the way thru to the top of Pisgah ridge, I passed a few and only a couple people passed me. After that it was just hold on as best I could. And there was still a lot to go. It's hard to remember how I was feeling at each mile, but from then on it wasn't too good. I took a couple of spills and several more stumbles. Each one was a jolt that I felt for a while, and am feeling now. My hips and core feel like they took a beating. Miles 8-11 or so were a tough struggle to say the least. I saw Glen on the Kilburn road, I think, and I was feeling fairly good on that road. Then the Davis hill came. That was tough, but the downhill afterwards, and the next 2 miles were just as hard. I felt quite a relief when I made that left turn onto the dirt road. For the last 1 1/2 miles or so I ran pretty well, and gapped the person who was right behind me at the turn by over a minute. It felt really good to get a stride going, even thru the last hills on the road. I finished in 2:12 flat. A 4 minute course PR for me, so I am happy with that. Next year I am going to have to get out on the trails a lot more, and Erin says she wants to as well. Lots of time between now and then.
It was good to see the other finishers, Jeff, Newt, Justin etc. I waited around for the top 50k runners, and like I said, it's hard to think about being out there for another 18 miles. George looked super strong at the finish, so did Greg. I was surprised to see Chris Hayhurst so close behind Greg. He had a very disappointing DNF last year, so he must be doing some good training at the farm.
All in all, a great day.