Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Race Report 2009

I knew in the back of my mind that sooner or later I would have my first DNF. Going into MMT I was 6 for 6, but I had never attempted a 100 miler and certainly had never faced a beast of a course like MMT. I was confident going into the race, or at least I thought I was. My wife confided to me after the race that she had a bad feeling going into it because when I talked about MMT I would always say I would give it "my best shot" and "if I finish". I guess subconsciously I had given myself an out if it got to hard out there.

My longest race going in was Laurel Highlands in 2008. I gutted it out and did not quit when it hurt bad and I was mentally drained. I thought that experience would prepare me for MMT, but was wrong in that assumption. If I can describe MMT as another sporting event it would be a heavy weight fight. This course just keeps coming after you, body blow after body blow after body blow and then finally a hay-maker meant to knock you out. The experienced fighter/runner survives the hay-maker and suffers through the night to the hope that Sunday morning's sunrise must bring. My hay-maker came in Duncan Hollow on my way from 211 back to Gap Creek/Jawbone II.

My MMT story begins back in 2008 on the Laurel Highlands course somewhere around mile marker 32. I was really down at this point and an older gentleman caught me and I muster the strength to keep up with him. We talked and I learned that he worked the Edinburg Aid Station at MMT. He said it was a hard long slugfest of a race and not to run it. Of course I took this as a challenge. After a few miles I was feeling better and moved out past this man, never to see him again. I wish I would remember his name to thank him for helping me get to the start of MMT.