What a beautiful and well put together race. Rockstead Running does such a great job with the whole thing . It is a pleasure to be able to do.
2016 marks the 4th time that I have run one of the days races. 3 times the 25K and once the 50K. This year it was the 25K and the whole family came up to Lutsen for it. It is becoming a fun tradition to make a mini-vacation out of it. We stayed at Surfside on Lake Superior which was very nice.
As usual the night before sleep was filled with dreams about missing the start so it wasn’t the best sleep that I ever had. It is typical for me to wake up a couple times thinking that I missed the start. I was up and at it before the alarm ever went off.
For some inexplicable reason I found myself near the front as the runners were told to move up the the line. I didn’t want to be going in reverse so I just went with the flow. I went out a little fast but given the pavement and gentle slope it didn’t hurt me to much. I have been lucky enough to get out on the course a couple times so I was familiar with the first 3 miles and felt pretty good. The climb up Moose Mountain was steep but I took it pretty easy.
My favorite part of the race is the turn and aid station. This is where I get to see my family. They are always such a boast to me both physically and mentally. My wife is so good at getting me what I need and helping the girls be involved. I love that now both the girls want to help daddy out by filling my water bottle and getting me anything I need for food. They support me all year when I am out running and during the race, it is such a blessing. This year was the first time where I can really envision running the race with them someday soon.
I left the aid station after drinking two cups of coke and refilling my bottle. Now for the hardest part. The climb up Moose Mountain is always a killer. I just can’t relax mentally until I am up and over it. The one upside to this year was that even with the heat and lack of leafs this stretch is in the shade of some conifer trees. I got up and over the crest with my heart pounding but knowing that I was in good shape and the most steep and technical climb was behind me.
The next 3.5 miles were just a joy. The trail was in beautiful shape, barley any mud and the views are amazing. I crossed the Popular river just as the 50K winner flew by me. It is fun to see those fast guys and gals go.