It's Thursday, so only three days left for the 2011 Pine Mountain 40-Miler on December 4th. I am going into this race with a big question mark, my race fitness. My training has been minimal, in fact I've only had two 20+ runs since my last race, the Stump Jump 50K back on the first weekend in October. I should be fine, but I can't help feeling a bit undertrained. To boot, I picked up some nasty virus this past weekend and it had me in bed for pretty much the whole weekend. I didn't run for four days, which is odd for me. I guess a little forced taper rest should do me some good. I've shaken the bug and I do feel better, but we'll see what this means for Sunday's race.
I ran Pine Mountain 40 back in 2009 and I really enjoyed it. You can read my race report: http://anecdotesfromthetrail.blogspot.com/2009/12/pine-mountain-40-miler.html. It's a challenging course on leaves-covered, rocky single track trail following much of the Pine Mountain trail out of FDR State Park. The scenery is fantastic as the course includes some good ridge line running. The most obvious feature of the course are the rocks. Lots of them. They definitely keep you watching your footwork as you progress to the finish.
Here's an elevation profile I borrowed from my buddy, Jason's blog:
I did get to preview the course recently with one of my running buddy's, Doug. We drove down there a couple of Fridays ago and we ran about 25 miles, mostly on the Pine Mountain trail. The leaves were just starting to fall, so I'm sure the trail is totally covered by them now. We ran up to the spot where some tornadoes wreaked havoc earlier this year. I'm sure I'll get to see more of the damage on race day. I hear that the trail is clear of the storm debris now.
Last time, I ran the race in under eight hours. I'd be happy if I did the same this time, but we'll see how I feel on race day. The weather forecast is ideal with partly cloudy, temps in the mid-30's to start and mid-60's by about the time I finish.
I'm picking up Woody at about 5:00am and we are hitting the road. We should get there just in time to pick up our packets and be ready to start. I'm looking forward to it.