Sunday, March 27, 2016

To Hale and Back

Earlier this winter, Amy urged me to sign up for the TARC 6 Hour To Hale and Back race. I've done their early spring 6 hour race several times in the past, although never as a true race and never running the full 6 hours. However, it's always a good excuse for a long run and given that it's near Ryan's parents, it's a good excuse to hang out with them as well. This year, the race fell on Irene's birthday and Easter weekend, so even better. Also, with a new venue this year and dry conditions due to lack of snow, things were looking better and better.

Amy joined us at Irene and Dana's house on Friday night, and the three of us made our way down to Hale to arrive at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. The start was in a different location than the 100; in fact, I recognized it as the lodge I ran past just as darkness was falling with wedding music blaring and a full-on party going on. Great spot with a warm fire going and indoor bathrooms. The course was a 3.5 mile loop.

We ended up with a good group of Trail Monsters for the run, which is always fun!

The loop was a good mix of a bit of pavement, some wider double-track and powerlines, plus some thin ribbons of singletrack. I recognized a lot of the terrain from the 100, although all were done in the opposite direction. Hale is a fun place to run but it isn't easy. The loop didn't have a lot of elevation but did have a number of short steep hills, some sandy beach crossings, and such to keep things interesting. I kept the pace pretty easy and fell in with a long train over the first few loops. We finally got lapped by the leaders on loop #3 ;) I took a break between loop 3 and 4 to fill my water, go to the bathroom and eat some oreos so by the time I headed back out, I was alone. Actually, it was a nice break and I kept myself amused listening to the birds and looking at the woods around me. Not much in terms of flora yet; it is still early spring, but there were some pussywillow blooming, one patch of daffodils coming up and some skunk cabbage visible in the swampy areas.

When I came through loop #4, Amy was sitting in the chair by our stuff. I asked her what was wrong, knowing this was not the sort of terrain she likes the best, and hoping she wasn't injured. When she said she was fine, just done, I asked her if she wanted to go back out for another loop. It didn't take her long to say yes and get organized ;) Not sure if I am a good or bad friend for dragging her back out. HA! We took it easy, chatting along the way and keeping the pace comfortable for her. Always fun to get in some miles with her, and hopefully she appreciated getting dragged along for more ;)

Come on now, you can do one more lap!

Once back at the start/finish, we took another short break to refill water, use the bathroom and convince Amy that another lap was a fine and dandy idea. What a good enabler I am ;) I ended up with 6 laps for 21 miles and Amy got in 17.5 for the day. Ryan cruised by us during lap #5 and finished up strong with 7 laps for 24 miles; Tami did awesome with 24 laps herself and John kept moving most of the 6 hours to get in 28 miles. Ally did 3 laps before her knee was hurting, but finished in good spirits. All in all, a whole lot of TMR miles!!

Happy Monsters :)

As always, TARC puts on a great race with a lot of fun people, good food and good spirits. A fun way to get in a long run on a March day!

Meanwhile, Sam was having a great day with Grammie and Grampie, so it worked out perfectly!

SIX bowls of Cheerios downed!

Lunch out

Pink sprinkles!!

We finished up the day with big burritos and a few games of cribbage and Sorry. And yes, she is still wearing the ears... ;)

Who do you think is winning here? :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

D, looks like a great day! Nice post, I was anxious to see how the run was for you all!