dirty double trail marathon -report

Another race completed, this one was 26 miles around Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness Area. The course is a mix of single track, mountain bike trails and some paved greenways, a good variety. I run in this area often, it being conveniently a few miles from the house. There were a few muddy sections, but nothing too bad.

The good
The event was very well put together. There was what seemed an army of volunteers helping out at aid stations and road crossings. The impromptu cheer gangs + dogs along the way were also very encouraging. Well marked course. Tons of smiling faces. Great weather. No complaints. I’m pretty happy with a time under 5 hours. Great looking limited edition shirt as well.

The bad
Another race where I lost self control. The plan was to take it easy the first half then pick it up from there. Instead I went out too hard. The first half took 2:20, the second half took 2:40. Not exactly negative splits. The last 25% of the race were once again more agony than they should have been. I decided against carrying any food or water because of the aid stations, turns out I was getting dehydrated between stations near the end, so a bottle might have helped.

Overall another good learning experience. I’ll have to come up with some strategies to reign myself in at the start of these races. I’m slowly getting fitter but so is everyone else, my effort barely got me in the top half. I’m going to have to work harder and smarter to catch up with these local endurance junkies.