I was looking over the layout of my blog a few days ago and noticed a big hole in my race calendar over on the right. April 28th to September 28th...nada. There are a few races in there that I'm fully aware of in the trail running hotbed that I live in but I was curious what else was out there. I posted the comment on Facebook and got some great feedback from friends. Ragnar Relay, North Country, Laurel Highlands 70...all great options. The Highland Sky 40 Miler was also mentioned on June 15th in the mountains of West Virginia. The date worked, the location was untouched by me in my life which was appealing, the distance from home was perfect (about 4 1/2 hours), and the lodge in the mountains provided a perfect trip for not only me but a getaway from my whole family...while I traversed through the mountains on a hot, June day. I did my research, asked opinions from those who had done it before, called the lodge with more questions, and made the decision to do it. By the time the work day ended yesterday, I had registered for the race and booked a few nights at the lodge.
webpage: "The course traverses Roaring Plains and Dolly Sods Wilderness through some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain in West Virginia. Dolly Sods is an area of high elevation, windswept plains ranging from 2500 to 4700 feet elevation. Trail terrain varies from woodland paths, rock and boulder, to upland bogs, through northern hardwoods at lower elevations, to Red Spruce and heath barrens above 4000 feet. Canaan is the highest large valley east of the Mississippi. The Valley creates the headwaters of the Blackwater River and has a unique environment composed of wetlands and uplands with vegetation characteristic of more northern latitudes." Sounds great, eh?!
So with that, my first race over the 50K (31.2 miles) distance since I ran the Oil Creek 100 Miler in October 2009. The 100-mile bug hasn't bit deeply enough yet so 2013 won't be the year I return to that. I've really been craving something more than a 50K and this fits the bill. I also realized last night how truly appropriate this race is...I turn 40 years old only 2 months prior to the race. 40 miles...40 years...it must be meant to be. :-)
Run Happy, friends!