Monday, August 18, 2008

2008 Mt. Savoy '20 miler'

As I described my race this weekend to Jon Healey...his response was 'Welcome to trail racing'.... well, it is more like 'Thank you for visiting trail racing'.... I think I'm done with this kind of stuff ...or at least the longer trail races. Even trail-king Ben Nephew, when catching wind of the race results, emailed me to tell me in not so direct terms that I was kind of nuts to do this race, let alone having it be my first one. This was the Mt. Savoy 20 Mile Trail Race out in western Mass (the race actually goes through the towns of Savoy, Florida, Adams, and North Adams Massachusetts.

Let's just put it this way...before we get to the race writeup... in no way was this race 20 miles. They revamped the course this year to make it 2 '10 mile' loops. 10 is closer to being right than 5 would I guess that's good...but there was talk of this being even closer to 24 (even from the race director)... so they are in the process of wheeling it to the best of their ability to get a more accurate account of the distance. That could take some time. The mud was ridiculous. No wheel I know of can get past certain parts of this course with any sort of accuracy. Current Trail Map here.

Loop 1: The race started out with cannon fire (yes, cannon fire) which was pretty cool.... I crept right up and tucked behind Kent Lemme for the first 6 or so minutes, then decided (incorrectly) that the pace was too slow. So I busted around and took the lead. Big mistake. For a while I was chugging along and feeling real good...even on the ups I was moving at a really good clip... I then took a wrong turn at the first water stop and to my dismay, received no direction from the 2 people sitting there...they just watched me go across the street and try to dip into the woods in the complete opposite direction from where I should have been going... No problem though...only 20-30 seconds of weirdness there... I then got back on the right track and chugged along again until all of the sudden I came to a section with no visible markers...I continued on what looked to be the trail and then at the top of this hill, it ended. I began to freak out. Screaming and yelling I ran aimlessly around looking for the trail or any visible flags that were all along the course (except for this part)... All the while, realizing that every second I screwed around, I was getting caught by the field. I finally found the trail and began running and then to my dismay, ran directly into the field. I was going the wrong way. I began to shout all sorts of expletives at this point and turned around and sprinted back up the hill. I then saw a tiny arrow on a tree that basically pointed straight ahead even though the trail went left. There WAS a trail that way, it just was a much smaller and less visible trail that led to this mass confusion (part 1). After collecting my thoughts and sprinting ahead for a bit, I again, took a wrong turn for a minute or so up another section that looked like the trail. Again, the markers were very confusing. After correcting that mistake, I came to the climb up to the summit, which is a pretty technical rock climb that stops you dead in your tracks and forces you to climb up the face of this cliff that I probably wouldn't even try if I was just out for a leisurely hike.... Once at the top, the view is absolutely breathtaking...but I had no time to screw around up was immediately down and onward. The mud through the first loop was bad. well over a foot + deep in some sections and those sections would be 10-20 yards long in some spots... A couple of times I dipped down almost to my waist in both mud and a couple of the water crossings that were MUCH deeper than I was expecting. Speaking of water...I neglected to take water from the '2.0' (using the distances loosely here) mile stop, the unmanned (10 one-gallon jugs) 4.5 mile water stop, or the '8.0' mile manned station (which had water and food). I just kept chugging along thinking I was almost done with the first loop.... Then horror. I kept running and running and the time on my watch kept getting longer and longer....eventually I came through '10' miles in 1:26. I knew then, 2 things.....1) the loop was long and 2) I was in huge trouble. I had built up an 8 minute lead over Kent Lemme, but that was soon to change.

Loop 2: Once through the half way point, I just could not fathom how I was going to do it again. It's probably as bad as having to do a 3rd loop at Cranmore next year... This time through I knew I had slowed down considerably. I also knew that I couldn't wait for the water stop. It also became very apparent that I had numerous blisters on both feet that were going to affect my upcoming races this week.... I also became very aware that I was dehydrated and needed food badly. I couldn't wait for the water stops. I found myself walking up inclines very early in the second loop. It came to the point where I ran up very few inclines over the last '10' miles. Walking was slowly killing my lead and for a while I knew my race was probably over. I came across the first water stop at 2.0 miles and kept going because it was positioned weird and at that point, I didn't want to stop and thought I could make it to the next one at 4.5. I almost didn't. I then came up on the EXACT SAME section I got very lost on the first time and again (part 2) ran up the wrong way and this time, got WAY lost. I was literally bounding through the woods way off of any trail, looking frantically for any markers. This was a good 2+ minutes of wandering around. I couldn't even find the way I came in. Finally, I got back on the trail and right in front of that damn little arrow again that was completely confusing and frustrating because it was the same area as the first time. Onward I pushed...I got to the second unmanned water stop and picked up a jug and just stood there looking back down the trail waiting for the pack to come get me....nothing yet. I collected myself and started to go again, but only could run a few steps before I started to bonk and completely lose it. I began to stagger around and lose all focus of where I was going. My thoughts only focused around food...eating something and everything at the finish...stopping at every restaurant on the way home and pigging out.... stuffing my face...jumping into a big room full of hamburgers and hot dogs....all sorts of weird stuff... that's when I began to fall down. Repeatedly. I fell down completely on my face and hands 7 times on the second loop. I never fell once on the first loop. I began walking so much I was sure I would either barely finish, need someone to come get me, or at the very least not even make the top 10. A couple of times, I just stopped and stood there...looking around... wondering what I was doing and why. What was really annoying was that at each time I stopped to get a rest, when I started again, I had no more energy than when I stopped. I barely made it up the summit climb and was able to recklessly stumble down all the downhills. Shortly after climbing down, I became so desperate I started to pluck leaves off of trees and eat them...not a good idea. DON'T do this. The leaves immediately take any and all moisture you have in your mouth.... When I finally hit the last water stop at '8' miles I was delusional. I stopped and reached for a sports drink and knocked about 5 or 6 waters off the table. I then popped in a couple of fig newtons which I was hesitant on doing because I've never eaten anything IN a race before (even a gel). That may have allowed me to finish however. Even a couple of fig newtons and some water and what I think was Powerade didn't re-energize me for long. Pretty soon I found myself in trouble again and walking...just looking behind me and waiting.... eventually I came up on the road and knew I was going to make it...I dug down and was able to run the last quarter mile up to the start/finish area and through in a blistering 3:18:04. Full Results here. Kent Lemme came in at 3:20:04...widdling my 8 minute lead down to 2 over the last loop.

Post Race: I then experienced 90 or so minutes of what UFO abductees refer to as 'lost time'...I don't remember much. My speech was slurred and I couldn't think straight at all... trying to answer questions from the volunteers became difficult. One asked me where I was from and I couldn't remember. I actually remember not being able to recall where I had just driven 2 and 1/2 hours from.... I sat down and tried to eat but just felt like passing out. I needed to lay down but instead just plopped my head down on the picnic table and may have passed out or fell asleep for an unknown amount of time.... the race staff was great...bringing me food and water, helping me sit up, and keeping me with the program mentally, so I wouldn't check out. I forced about a gallon of fluids down (water and Powerade) as well as 2 pieces of watermelon, 2 pieces of zucchini bread, chips, a hot dog, some sort of pasta salad, and a muffin. Then I got the chills really bad (85 degrees out) and the shakes. They helped me to my car where I peeled off my shoes and the ankle tape, revealing the horror that was my feet, and then laid down for about an hour and fell asleep. 3 people came to check on me and advised me from driving home. I slept for a while and then got back up, changed my clothes, and staggered over to the finish line (where people were still coming in up past the 7 hour mark) and ate some more food.

After sitting with Abby Woods and Tim Mahoney for a while (Tim nursing some severe muscle spasms/cramps and post race sickness), I filled up my water bottle, took another muffin, and hit the road for my 2 and 1/2 hour ride home. I dosed off a good half-dozen times but made it home in once piece. Even after all the food and water, when I got home I hopped on the scale and was shocked to see 135 lbs (the lower end of my normal weight range on a normal day after eating not nearly as much as I did after the race). I was sub 130 easily at the finish of the race.... After a couple of longer runs in really hot weather in the past year or so, I've seen 129 lbs once or twice...but this had to be a new low in my adult life...I think I put a good 5 lbs of fluids in my system alone, not including the pig-out session that followed. Not good.

Lessons learned here.... no more 20+ mile trail races for me....carry some sort of water / fluids or gel with me when I know I'm going to be running for 3+ hours....lube up the feet before doing any sort of trail races in the future....and Bay State is going to s*ck... Now on to Thursday's Saunders 10K...I hope I can walk right by then. That may be a 'sh*tshow' (a common term heard mumbled by Matt Pimentel when he knows a race is not going to go well)...


  1. Jim,

    This is officially the most entertaining story I have ever read on the internet! That race sounds completely insane and your account of it has certainly quelled any desire I'll ever have of running a technical trail race. Glad to see that you recovered enough to write about it...most amusing story I've read in a while. Hope the recovery continues to go well and I'll see you at Saunders on Thursday!


  2. Saunders will be awful...My feet are trash...but I'll be there because I'm kicking that series' arse... A top 10 there will be a good goal at this point... Looking on the brightside, I probably won't be dryheaving during that race (unlike this past weekend) thats good. :)

  3. Jim,

    Glad you had a great time. Thanks for the entertaining story. You never mentioned if you were happy that you won. Well anyway, hope to see you at the snowshoe races this winter on the same trails. Bring some hand warmers.

  4. What a whiner. Mud at Savoy? Wow, what a surprise. Hills in a trail race in the Berkshires? A hard climb to a peak? Sooorreeeeee! Didn't carry your own fluids, fuel, or electrolyte tabs in a 20 mile race in the forest? Passing a water stop without taking in any fluids? Duh-uuh. What were you thinking? Didn't put vaseline on your feet? Awww. Trail markings? This was one of the best-marked trail races I've ever seen. Part of trail racing skill is being able to navigate the course by actually paying attention to the markings rather than blowing by them. Fell down? Might try looking where you're stepping and lifting your little feet off the ground to go over the roots and rocks. How personable; win the race then complain about it. Meanwhile I will continue to be content with finishing in the middle of the pack and enjoying the sights of the woods and the beautiful rock formations. To my friends, if I ever become this negative just shoot me and get it over with.

  5. Wow...actually talked to the race director after the race and a few others and was telling him how pleased I was with everyone there and how cool everyone was...funny that I must have missed you. Finishing in the middle of the pack is ok... no need for the animosity or bitterness, but I understand it. I read plenty of blogs including ones linked off of mine, where people talk about how unhappy they are with their performance, and then I realize that they’ve beaten me by a minute or more in that same race they are talking about…but then I take a step back and try to understand it from their point of view. What people should probably understand before they take out their own frustrations and disappointments on others is that people do races for different reasons. I am not you (thank heavens) so I don't do races for the 'scenery' and 'rock formations'. I do them for performance tuning, running good times, and getting a good workout in. When I start to get injured, run horrible times, or breakdown (again, my body is different from yours and others), that’s just not what I'm looking for. I wasn’t looking to beat 39 people in a 3 hour race where I was going to run a pace that rivals an all uphill auto-road race. I was looking to sit behind a Nephew or Fyffe or other experienced trail racer and get a great cardio / tempo workout in. That didn’t happen and it was disappointing. I am, on the other hand, very happy for you, in that you had a good day. Now I can sleep. As someone who comes from just roads, I obviously am going to have a different look on trail racing than others. If I was a middle-of-the-packer, maybe I would enjoy the scenery a little more, and wear my IPod, and not care about much. That isn't me (yet). You also must have missed my 'I will wear a fuelbelt and carry food next time' blurb. I could be sly about it and remove your pretty uncalled for comment/ and/or just allow registered users to comment, but I don't because I don't run into people like you in the running community (until now). I also don't bash and didn't in this case. I gave props to the race volunteers and finish line people because they deserved it, in being the most respectful and coolest race organizers/directors I've ever seen...I went around thanking people and actually gave a couple of hugs to two of the ladies who helped me, and shook a bunch of hands on my way out...You must have been still running or looking around or whatever you were doing, but again, I respect everyone and clapped for everyone as they came in, and understand that it is completely ok to not be pleased with your own race and be pretty rattled if you jump into something you weren’t expecting. I was actually pretty pumped about trying snowshoe and more trails (although less intense) out west this fall/winter and will do so...just hope that I don't run into any more really bitter nature lovers who kind of don't understand what it’s like for people unlike themselves to have a bad day and want to talk about it. Winning isn't everything (not sure if you understand that, but it isn't). In this particular case, winning wasn't even what I was trying to the last thing I'm going to do is blog 'well, I beat everyone so Yeah!'... Getting a good workout in while being able to walk the next day without injuries is a little more important for me because I still have bigger goals. You could remain anonymous if you like and continue to be very 'un-runner-like' or you could give us all a link to your nature-lover blog so we can read about your walk through the woods and how beautiful the birds were on Sunday. Either way, I welcome your commentary...makes things more interesting, as I thrive off of discussions with the insecure and emotionally unstable. Oh yeah, and also, thanks for reading and spending time on my blog .

    Oh and one more thing… The newsletter editor for the WMAC actually reached out to me to ask me if he could use my blog entry in the next newsletter. As an obvious seasoned pro of Savoy trail racing, maybe you want to take a step back and think about that for a minute… as he put it ‘It's a good story from a first timer's point of view and I hope I can use it.’ I think you may have to second guess the way you look at how others view the world. Not everyone shares your point of view, but open minded people welcome it.

  6. well I have to say that although the story was slightly verbose at times, whoever is calling this dude a whiner for posting about a bad experience is a complete lunatic and is probably one of those people with a belly that jogs on the weekends at these races where good people don't actually show up, and they call themselves a "runner". especially when they are back of the packers and are looking around at rocks and animals rather than pushing themselves to run an actual good performance. winning doesn't mean anything if the experience is bad, let alone something that someone wasn't expecting. I'd say there is some jealousy or definate animosity here. also, it sounds like the person is old and bitter for sure. defensive even. maybe you offended him or her by knocking their precious little trail. I don't see it, but clearly you've offended someone by not showboating your win! next time, try starting your post with I WON I WON I WON I'm a Champ!!!! just to please pricks like that who anoymously attack on blogs. werd.

  7. Yikes...Controversy abound here...I may have to moderate my comments after all (which is sad)...This is turning into a LetsRun type of thing... Let me get a few things clear... Yes, I whined (which I kinda do everyweek...but now I have a new elitist audience after showing my mug around Western Mass this past weekend), Yes I was unprepared and paid the price (hence the show my fellow runners what not to do)... I was called out on it for some reason even though I did claim all along to be unprepared and inexperienced in trail running...that's fine and to each his/her own... I'm just not going to celebrate a win when I have an awful day. My awful day may be someone elses good day... But I don't celebrate and blog for others... Try reading Nate Jenkin's runnning blog (linked from mine) and read how he describes every race... In just about every race he describes it as 'sh*tty' even though I never run times even remotely close to his. But I understand (as well as a lot of others) that his bad is better than my good...but its his story, not mine. Nobody whatsoever calls him out on it and says 'yeah but you won'... I think this may be only experienced and knowledgable runners looking at his blog...but that aside, the bashing is amusing... To MY friends (none of whom I think would want to 'shoot' me), they will get a kick out of this... waaaaah! Thats one big waaaah for me... Time to call out the waaaahmbulance for my hurtin' arse... For all I know, this could be my girlfriend giving me the waahmbulance treatment (instead of a middle-aged snobby treehuggin' jogger with a fanny pack). Thanks all for caring so much. 10K tonight...but tempo pace...Hope I can get through it just to get some SCRS points (because did I mention I ran a trail race on Sunday!).

  8. wow. hahaha. I'm speechless. your comment section is more interesting than most ppls blogs
    :-) race sounds crazy...glad you made it!

  9. Jim:

    Savoy was my first trail race many moons ago--I was training for a road marathon and thought a 20 mile trail race would be a good tuneup. Ugh. I have yet to bonk that bad again, but fell in love with trail running then and there. It's not for everyone, I know. But I always try to tell people to go easy on the race markers--I know it's frustrating to take a wrong turn (I"m always most pissed when it's one everyone else catches), but honestly, until you've tried to mark a 20 mile trail race you have no idea how much work and effort is involved. It's a miracle that a race like this can even happen, when you think about it. (and this race in particular was pulled from the ashes this year).

    Congrats a on great run--and honestly, give trail racing another try--we need more young fast guys in this sport--too many of us old fat guys in the top 10 still!

  10. Thanks! Good to see some positivity again :)... I love the the trails (in moderation) and loved WMAC...lots of amazing folk at that race who really care about others and who really care about putting on a great race...the concern and compassion for fellow runners there was amazing...makes it worth going back for sure... the negativity on a personal note from just one unfortunate individual is what kills it... Hopefully they've wised up and put the whisky glass down for a while and figured things out after the haze has cleared... XC season comes this weekend!

  11. Jim,

    Awesome writeup. I for one think you've got a lot of guts to try different types of racing: track, mountain, trail, etc. And I don't think anyone can question your passion for the sport of running. I've done some mountain racing and some fairly tame XC races, but nothing as technical as what you described. Sounds like a new challenge to try! Keep up the great blog.


  12. Jim

    I also enjoyed your write up. The "amonomous" rant does seem a bit atypical for trail folk. Way outside the limits of a good ribbing. Guess there's no accounting for peoples insecurities. Keep up the good work.
    Didn't see the Mt. Mansfield Toll Rd. race, Aug 31, on your calander.

    Paul B

    PS. personally I never understood the whole "take in the scenery" thing at trail and mountain race. I thought that what hiking was for.

  13. Thanks Janos...Thanks Paul... so many little weekends... :)

  14. Jim, glad you survived. The banter in the comments section troubles me, but the optimist in me assumes everyone was joking. Next time you decide to run a trail race for the first time, try the Mount Toby Trail Run. Thanks to Ben and Richard for pointing me in your blog's direction.

    Cheers, SL

  15. Thanks Scott...Here comes chapter 2 in my saga....what some (I say some, not all) have to realize is that, like you said, everyone has their opinion on what they like to do for races and how they like to run them. Hiking the AT is definitely not for everyone and (ok here it comes)...some may not even dig that kind of thing...I personally like hiking (and when I say hiking, I mean just walk with my family...not the speed hiking/running insane stuff that Karl is doing)...just got into the mountain stuff this year (ran 4 mountain races this summer to 'mix it up' so to speak)...I love XC and have always loved XC. Cross is the reason I decided to lose the weight and come back to running after 8 years. I've always loved to run trails to run trails. I've never raced a trail race. This apparently fries some people's rice...but then again, I never saw any of the people with the exception of Mr. Lemme (who is insanely talented at ANY distance or event) at road Grand Prix events the past 2 years...I could be wrong...but I don't recall any of these people at Rhody this year with the exception of Kent who handed me my butt in that race...but I don't think any less of them for not hopping in the Grand Prix races...they are a different cup of tea for sure. My description of what happened to me on Sunday was definitely hilarious to most and I wrote it that way to lighten up what was a pretty crummy experience for me, which actually led to (two days later) a night in the hospital. Yes, I was severely dehydrated, didn't eat enough, didn't stop at the water stops when I should have, and didn't prepare for an almost 23 mile trail race. And I wrote that. I wrote that I was unprepared and that I would change things up next time. It was indicated in my post, although some people may have imagined that I said something to the effect of 'Hmmm...I wonder why I got so banged up....I did everything right and this race still stuck it to me...I can't imagine why I had so bad of a time'... I said nothing like that, still I got kinda slammed for complaining about how I personally ran a trail race. I come from the roads...5k, 5 mile, 10k, road Grand Prix's. And I'm still coming back from years of nothing...I'm just thrilled to be back around runners again, no matter what event. I'm not used to the whole 'trail scene' yet where things are a little different as we all can agree. There seems to be more a little more pride and comradery among trail and mountain runners...I notice this when I show up and everyone knows each other...'most' everyone is friendly, etc. show up and may know one or two...sure everyone is friendly, but there isn't the personal aspect of it that I've seen at the trail and mountain stuff...The fields are usually smaller, sure...but its still there... I'd like to be used to it...I'd like to try snowshoe, etc. this winter and will... It's just amusing that after coming back on the roads after 8 years off, I blog and get no flack... Trying mountain for the first time I get no flack...Finally running races longer than 10K and blogging about it, I get no flack... trying a trail race for the first time and blogging about what not to do in a trail race from a first timer's perspective (something I do all the time when I try something new and it doesn't go as planned), and I get slammed. I also, for some reason, stir up controversy... That kind of says a lot about some people... I never mentioned anything about Karl but have been following what he's doing...Karl is obviously talented beyond words and what he was attempting to do is insane...I now understand what its like to maybe a 1% degree after running only 22.2 miles of trails and almost dying. He's trying to do twice that daily. It doesn't take much to understand how amazing of an athlete you need to be to even try to attempt that. And I know that everyone who chimed in (with the exception of maybe Ms. Anonymous) appreciates what other runners (be them ultra or road or whatever) are doing in the sport... The guy whom you quoted obviously understands that as do all of us...Again, to some (and I hope that nobody takes any offense here), doing a 'race' means an all out effort with no looking around other than to make sure you don't wreck yourself. To some, racing means that if your laughing and smiling and taking pictures and talking to others, you may not be pushing it as much as you should...To others, that IS what it is all about. To some it is about fun, fun on the trails, fun in nature, fun with others who appreciate it. I get it. I get all that. I appreciate all that and understand it. It's not where I am right now...and some don't like it... but I can't help it. Look at a guy like Nephew...The dude is amazingly talented on the one can touch him. I know he isn't stopping at the top to take pictures during a race and taking in the scenery like others, etc. He's all out crazy...full speed ahead. But I won't slam him because of it...because that’s the way I wanted to be...but it didn't work out for me like that. It may once I get used to it...for now I'll stick to cross, the roads, and maybe some snowshoe for fun... I'll stay away from the trails if it stirs up controversy of any kind...because it really isn't worth anyone’s time to be upset at the way others view the sport. Everyone should focus on themselves, how they enjoy it, and how they can go on enjoying it for as long as possible. Running is pretty much a main focus for most all of us who are even remotely interested in reading this behooves us to all get along and cheer for one another. Hopefully I'll see you guys out there again someday...

  16. btw..this is in response to Scott's post on his blog (, which it looks like I can't comment on because I don't have a wordpress account...So I'll continue to clutter up mine. He referenced my post and his blog is read by trail runners and hikers, etc. so I'm sure, again, I'll get slammed...but hence the reason for my continuous rambling and bizarre need to actually kind of defend myself for posting about a bad day. Yikes.

    Scott is a good guy and by no way am I saying anything in response to not liking something he has said...He's been completely fair. This is more for the new traffic I may see due to his referencing this post...

  17. Jim,
    Highly entertaining report! Definitely a tough race for me too although I was at a pace about an hour and a quarter slower than you! Glad you didn't get hurt/die--sounded like you went through some scary moments! Some of the comments are out of character for a trail race crowd...what can you do. Most folks watch out for one another out there, give their best effort and take a moment to enjoy the tremendous view from the top of Spruce Hill on their second loop (ok, I was really tired...) Hope you try another trail race as you obviously are a talented runner.

  18. Jim
    Other than Scott I hope folks won't get their shorts in a twist over the poor grammar/punctuation/spelling in my "take in the scenery" comment. We're all out there for our own reasons and in my case if I want to enjoy the view I'll hike. If I pay an entry fee it's to race and that means looking at the ground in front of me and leaving it all on the trail.

    Paul Bazanchuk

  19. Paul, if you don't start to proof read and spell check your comments, I am going to have to ask you to cease posting on here... ;) Just kidding. I think we all need to go on a long run together sometime and hash it all out! :)

    But seriously...thanks to all who chimed in...good or bad...we're all in this together and we're all passionate about the sport regardless of our spelling mistakes ;) (lord knows I make 'em)...

  20. Hey Jim

    I was one of those "middle of the packers" at Savoy....not stopping to look at the scenery though, but like you trying to get a time I was happy with and a great workout among some of the nicest people on earth (Trail race RD's, volunteers and runners). I have been trail running for about 3 years now and although I am still a middle packer after three years I do put my heart into every race. I found your report a riot and really appreciated your sense of humor and I will forgive your use of the term "middle packer" as being in any way some one who does not put 100% into their race ; )

    Hope to see you at another GT race and if I do I will be sure to offer you one of my vanilla gu's

  21. JJ

    I read your article in the WMAC newsletter. Awesome tale. I ran this on 8-25-1991 and binked badly. I took the lead early and was just cruising along. I reached 1/2 way at 1:14 and the CR was 2:28. Nice! I did not treat it like a marathon and was not drinking enough. At 15, I started feeling it and by 18 I was falling all over the place. I got passed at 18 and ended up losing by more than 10 minutes! I finished in 2:43:13. Oh my God! I never went back. Glad you survived but you were nuts for running Saunders so soon!

    Steve Peterson

  22. Jim,

    As some people have said in the above comments, hilarious account, especially the part about the "UFO abductee...lost time". I must say, you are insane for having gone so far without eating anything, but you had a great finish time considering the hellish conditions you put yourself through! I am another middle-of-the-packer who finished about an hour slower than you, but even with decent fitness I felt it was a challenging race. If you really want to see some mud and "challenging" conditions you should sign up for the Ultimate XC Jay Marathon next year. I'm sure you will come around to loving trail running!


  23. Jim, I am still thinking of running Savoy (2009) after reading your report. The course is still the same as in 2008. Thanks for the details and heads up on the course. I will keep an extra sharp eye out for any small arrow markers. Hopefully I will not be dead last but then again if I am, I'll be sure to win a "dust pan (sweeper)" award. ;0) I am not ready for the distance but need to get some hard core trail in...oh about NOW! Maybe I will opt for Mt. Toby as Scott L suggests...cheers!