Sunday, March 17, 2013

Georgia Death Race Report

Georgia Death Race   03/16/2013 

It has been a long time since I have created a race report, but I decided at some point after daylight yesterday during the race to make a series of videos to document the race experience.

The race started at 4:00AM at Vogel State Park, and ended (for me and my friend Nathan) just before midnight.

On the Duncan Ridge Trail:

I decided to run ahead of Nathan and video him coming down a hill shortly after sunrise.  We have already been running for about 4 hours.

This clip shows just one of a succession of brutal ascents and descents that is called the Dragon's Spine and compromises most of the Duncan Ridge Trail.  There ain't no switchbacks!

This is a bit of foreshadowing.  I decided to poke fun at Nathan for wearing three pairs of socks, but as it turns out, this was a brilliant move to prevent blisters.  I am suffering now with multiple blisters on both feet.

Crossing this bridge gave us a rare opportunity during the race to see normal people doing normal fun things.  The river was absolutely beautiful, and people seemed to be having a great Saturday afternoon.  Both of us talked about seriously re-evaluating our choices in hobbies after this bridge.

The guy in the video was really cool and stopped to make sure I was OK when I was nursing a nose bleed a few miles down the trail.  He also was rockin the best beard on the trail.

This is what a typical aid station looks like on one of these runs.  Lots of folks come out to help for these races, and they really try to help the runners.  Big thanks to all the volunteers.

I am beginning to be a little incoherent at this point, but we are still feeling optimistic.  Nathan was texting his wife to let her know that we were OK and give her an estimated finish time.  The controlled burn landscape was strange and reminded me of a volcano that I climbed in Guatemala many years ago.

There was another video here, but it would not upload.  We had just left the best aid station in the world, ever. They had grilled cheese sandwiches, beer, and BACON.  It was truly a transcendent experience, and they, hands down, win the best aid station award.

After climbing on rocky roads for forever, the road felt like carpet and we were elated.  Right after this, we met some kids who ran with us for a bit.  They really had a hard time understanding why we would pay someone to run 65 miles over mountains to get a t-shirt and a trinket.  I really did not have an answer for them, but a guy we were running with told them "you'll understand when your 40".

OK, there was another video here, but thankfully you don't have to see it (it wouldn't upload).  Conditions deteriorated a bit and we were a bit disheartened because of a 7 or 8 mile climb in the dark on seemingly endless rocky forest service roads.

This is a video of my nose.  

This stretch was the lowest point of the race because we new the finish was only 5 or 6 miles away, but it seemed like it would take an eternity to get there.  


Thanks to all the volunteers, to Alicia and David Milner for their hospitality, Sean Blanton for organizing a great race, and Nathan for running with me.

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