After a good nights rest in Rutland, Vermont I awoke with a blood sugar that was in range. It is amazing how a good blood sugar can make other things not seem as bad. As I prepared my breakfast in my hotel room I took a quick glimpse outside to see a nice inch of snow coating the cars and pavement. As I had my peanut butter toast I thought about how perfect the race would be, a fresh snow fall and views from the mountain that I wouldn't soon forget. Ten minutes into my thirty minute ride to the mountain my hands were sweating and I was driving in near whiteout conditions. Snow covered roads and not a plow to be found.
Once I arrived at Okemo I could finally relax and get ready to race. My blood sugar had slowly crept out of range but I was feeling ok, I knew that it would come back in to range once I warmed up and the race began. After checking in and meeting some great people I headed out to the mountain. Talk about being intimidated, while putting on my spikes this gigantic mountain is sitting there laughing at you. I stretched and decided I'd run a little up the mountain to get a feel for the race. About a quarter mile in to my warmup I was walking, I have raced on some steep roads but running up a ski slope in the snow is ten times more challenging.
As the race began I thought to myself, "Don't look back one the race starts" My reason for doing this was to make myself think that I was in last place, if I didn't see how many people were behind me I wouldn't slow down. I was very happy to see many of the racers walking as we got to the midway point of the climb, I was also very happy to have the leaders in sight. Yes they were about a football field or so ahead which when going up a mountain is like a mile but I was feeling good. Just before the turn to head back down the mountain, the grade had to be between 10 and 15%, my legs felt like cinderblocks, my calves burned and I was being passed by a few people. Being passed when everyone is walking messes with your head.
It is no secret I'm a kid at heart, I'm 33 going on 14. I like to have fun so heading down the mountain I decided to do so with reckless abandon. I wasn't running on concrete so if I wouldn't get hurt, being a kid from New England I have learned snow hurts but not that bad compared to asphalt or ice. I was sprinting down the mountain and my arms were flailing all over the place. I almost went down a number of times but my going down the mountain like a rabbit and hopping when it got steep seemed to pay off. I would finish in a time of 37 minutes, I have no idea if that was good or not but I do know that I had fun and didn't care where I finished. (Results have yet to be posted)
I can't thank Brandon and the Winter Wild crew for the invite. I had the time of my life today and met some amazing people as we climbed up the mountain. Some probably thought I was weird as I said "No one told me this was an uphill race" as we hit the steepest part of the mountain. I encourage anyone that is in the New England region to checkout http://www.winterwild.com/ and to sign up for a race. No matter what race you run, you will be challenged but you will meet people that are genuine and people that love life!!