Thursday, July 09, 2009
Return to Grandfather Mountain
The photo shows one of the main reasons I love this race. I took this one last year at about the 16 mile point on the race with a view of Grandfather in the distance. The race is small with around 400 runners each year but they do a good job with adequate aid along the way. If you need a lot of bells and whistles, cheering crowds along the course and a traffic free course, this race isn't for you. But if you enjoy a low-key event with some nice people to share the experience then you should plan to come here and run sometime. And the finish on the track in front of thousands in the grandstands of the Scottish Highland Games is very cool.
I heard about this race when I first started running and was intimidated by the distance and the difficulty but by the time I got around to running it the first time in 2003 I had several hard ultras under my belt and knew I could handle it. I thoroughly enjoyed that first year and this will be my 5th time returning. Another thing that makes it special are the many friends I've made over the years that come to run here and get a little break form the summer heat on what has to be one of the most beautiful road races in the country.
I was most fortunate to share half of the 2006 race with the Trail Angel and last year we ran the last 21 ones together. I hope this year she is in great shape and feeling better but that means she will be way ahead of me. But I am most eager to share the day with the Marathon Princess and our new long run training partner Lisa. Karla has been wanting to come here since we began training together back in 2005 but this is the first year that she finally gets to do it. She has been running great this year and I expect a good run for her. I seem to be recovered from the Ironman and my injuries are well now so I hope we can stick together to the end. This will be our 10th marathon we will have run together if everything works out ok.
Look for a report and photos soon. Frank is going to be with us and is the official photographer for the start and finish for Team Ultraman and Marathon Princess.