Welcome! The intent of Anecdotes from the Trail is to share my experiences while trail running or racing (occasionally on the road too.) And to feature other trail runners and their accomplishments. You may see the occasional gear review or even contest. Please visit from time to time. Happy trails!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Race Preview: 2013 Rock/Creek Chattanooga Stage Race

Three days on the trails with a bunch of other trail runners sounds like fun, right? Well, that’s what I’m in for this weekend when racing in Chattanooga at the Rock/Creek Stage Race; three beautiful, but challenging, stages on the best trails that Chattanooga has to offer. I ran this race back in 2011 and I knew then I’d be back. This year I have extra motivation to run it since it will be a good tune up for my TransRockies Run training.

Day one is 18 miles at Raccoon Mountain. It’s the easiest of the three days but not just because of the distance, but because the terrain is the most forgiving of the three locations. The course is mostly single track trail, some of it mountain bike worn, along rolling hillside around the reservoir. The tendency is to race this stage hard, but the smart stage racer will go conservative and save some for day two and three. View course map and elevation chart here.

Day two is 22 miles at Lookout Mountain. The highlight on this day is running past Lula Falls. It’s rained quite a bit this spring, so hopefully the falls will be going strong. We get to run by them twice, so it will become a familiar site. This day brings a lot more climbing than the day before. The quads will be hurting at the end of the day with all the down hill running. The best part is the dip in the creek after crossing the finish line. View course map and elevation chart here.

Day three is 20 miles at Signal Mountain. Not the longest of the three days, but undoubtedly the toughest. When I ran this in 2011, it took me an hour and a half longer to run this stage than day one did and it’s only two miles longer. Now granted, I also had 40 miles on my legs from the previous two days, but this day’s stage has some tough rocky trails in sections and if it’s hot, you pay for it. View course map and elevation chart here.

The weather forecast is not looking favorable for me. In 2011, we had unusual cool temperatures, especially on day one. This weekend calls for mid to high 80’s for a high with day three pushing into the 90’s. I’ll be running with two hand held bottles, but still relying on the aid stations heavily for hydration.

Despite the warm temperatures, my training has been good and I just need to remember that this is more of a training weekend. I have to keep my eye on the bigger prize which is the six day stage race in Colorado in August and my hundred in November. Check back as I’ll be blogging after each stage race this weekend.

Check out the official Rock Creek Chattanooga Stage Race video:

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