Monday, June 6, 2011

Laurel Highlands - Time for a HEALTHY Race!

Sure, I'm not necessarily in "race shape", but I'm so excited about being able to line up healthy for the Laurel Highlands 77 mile trail run on Saturday, my fitness level doesn't really matter. What does matter is that I'll get to spend all day running a beautiful point-to-point trail across the Laurel Highlands of southwestern PA. I've never set foot on the course, but just about every report from all previous thirty-one years of this race sings its praises. From these photos, I can see why!

Everyone talks about the endless fields of ferns on the trail (Kirstin Corris Photo from 2006 race)

You can bet I'll be stopping for a quick dunk here if it's hot out!

With speedy relay teams surely ahead of me, I won't have to worry about being the first to break through all the early morning spider webs this time!

Good trail, good shade...Yes, please!

I have no clue how fast I'll be able to cover these 77 miles, but I sure as heck know I'll enjoy the scenery! My hammy is healed up from MMT, and even though I haven't been able to really push it hard yet, I don't think I'll need to worry about finding my top gear in this race. 77 miles is just about long enough for my steady "cruising" pace to keep me in the hunt all day long. Once we get past the big climbs in the first 8 miles, I just need to click on the cruise control and enjoy the ride!

As an added bonus, my buddy Andy will be heading up from DC with me to run his first race over 50 miles. It's been a blast watching him go from 1/2 marathoner to 50-miler in the past year, and I'm psyched I'll get to be there to cheer him across the 77 mile finish line now. Everyone knows the fun doesn't really start until you get up over 70 miles in a race!


Kim said...

Hi Dan,
I hope to see you before the 77 miler start! You will be too quick down the trail for me to see out on the course, since I will have some 50K runners to get to their starting line (I'm crewing and driving).
You will love LH.Think MMT with about 1/64 of the rocks or less. Will be more humid, with less wind.

Dan Rose said...

Kim - Sounds like you'll have a busy day our there! Good luck with all the crewing, hope to see you somewhere out there!

Chris Roman said...

Enjoy buddy, looks beautiful :)

nmp said...

Ah, the early morning spider webs in the east coast...definitely don't miss those!

Glad you are feeling better - hope you have a great run!

Andy said...

It's been awesome running almost all of these first time ultra distances with you. Really excited about the race Saturday plus the little bit of travel back/forth. Hope we have plenty to celebrate on the drive back to VA!

Andy said...

strike that...forgot about running my first 50K with you too! That makes 50K, 50M, & (pending completion!) 77M. Kind of glad we're tailing back to a 50K before the big 100!

Dan Rose said...

Andy - You'll get a pretty good taste of what "100M pain" feels like this weekend. Just remember, it doesn't really get any worse than "77 mile pain", so if you decide you want to do a quick 23 mile out-n-back after crossing the finish line Saturday, I'll be happy to tag along!

Amelia said...

Good luck tomorrow!!!