Glacier! June 24, 2017
I had this awesome plan to feel well trained for this event...honest I did, but I missed my last week of training and a few long runs, so I really didn't know what to expect race day. I never had it in my head to run for a time anyway. I mostly wanted to train so I would feel strong on the run....and I had super duper high hopes the weather would be enjoyable and it was!!!
1225 ft. of climbing up!!! It is the most elevation I have ever tackled in a race. I thought it was pretty awesome the hardest part would be knocked out by mile 5!
Five miles is a long time to run uphill without a break though...and the reality was, I felt pretty worn out when I got to the top! Surprisingly, the climb up between mile 10 and 11 felt steep and I walked a lot more than I anticipated...I tried to keep my feet turning over saying my mantra...."it's downhill after this mile!" but I walked a bunch!!
The average temps are freaking heavenly in Montana this time of year, and the dew point typically sits fairly low, at least 35 points lower than VA! I was beyond excited to feel something other than stagnant humid air, and the northwest corner of Montana did not disappoint.
47 degrees at race start, the morning air was extremely pleasant even though the temperature quickly went up!! It was about 70 degrees at the end.
The one and only thing I really worried about - wind. The last time I was in this area, I was awed by the beauty, and blown over literally by how powerful the wind was! The gusts were so powerful, I had a hard time pushing open my car door...for real.
I did experience some very breezy days while I was in Montana, but race day was surprisingly calm and still.
Shuttles ran from Browning, Montana to the start line and took about 15 minutes.
Race start is 6 sharp.
The last shuttle to the start line (no parking at the start) leaves at 5 a.m.
I stayed 30 miles from Browning, in Cut Bank, MT. I hopped in the car about 4:05 a.m. and hauled up these amazing roads to the shuttle.
It was dark at 4 a.m. but I took these pics later in the day :)
The plains are an amazing endless spread of green
I saw Bison on the move...I don't see that everyday :)
The race was in the mountain range you see in the picture.
Anyhoooo...I left the hotel with an extra layer since it was nippy.
I rode the school bus to the start line👌This was a cupless race! You were responsible to fill your own hydration at all water stops.
It was so packed at the start line I could not find the water station, so I started the race with an empty bottle. First stop was about 3 miles in...the water stations were plentiful after that, about every two miles, with plenty of coolers of water and powerade, and oranges, bananas, gu, snacks...
We started going up and I tried to run as much as I could!
My splits tell the story...
11:12, 12:02, 14:10, 13:28, 14:22
...it got steep and I walked a lot. I took my time and enjoyed every moment of the fresh morning air, ate the yummy oranges at the hydration stops, and marveled being on road that would be almost impossible to run. Apparently, some folks that live there do run the roads, but I would be scared as narrow and as fast as cars whip around corners...I figured this was a once in a lifetime for me!
The views ~ all pretty amazing!
When we finally got to the top and started downhill I wanted to run as hard as I could.
It felt amazing!! At one point the wonky did hit and I had to slow down a little :)
9:50, 8:45, 9:40, 8:58, 10:59 (then we started go up a bit and it felt steep)
Then I needed a porta potty stop...15:45, 10:20, 10:47
The last mile was a mixture of dirt road and grass, even though the course description said it was a "short distance on grass". Running on fairly level ground felt really difficult at this point...it is about 5,000 ft. elevation, not sure if that was why, or if I was just worn out LOL
I just wasn't mentally prepared be on grass for so long. I knew the finish was by the lodge in East Glacier, but I just expected to run across the grass for a few minutes!
I was so determined to keep running, my legs felt noodled and I wanted to stop, but I had already walked too much of this race!
I remember thinking why is there so much grass!?
and finally I crossed the line 2:30:53 ~ my official time (11:31 avg pace)
I wanted to shower before I had drove back to Mom's (a few hours away) so I hopped back on the school bus and rode to my car. I hauled the miles back to Cut Bank and got a nice warm shower!
I took my time and enjoyed the drive back to my Moms 😍
Pretty cool wood medal!
The entire town of Browning in one glance...this is Blackfeet Reservation land. They hosted the event and used their school buses as shuttles to the start line. Primitive camping was available by the expo site, but I am glad I stayed in a hotel even though I had to drive a bit!!
My heart overflows every time I think about the cool mountain air.
I will treasure the memories!!
Half #16 was a wonderful unique experience I will always be thankful for. 💚
💙 💙 Thank you for stopping by and commenting!!! It means a lot to me.
I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly and Tricia and Kim!
Kim@ Running on the Fly is hosting this week! Join in the fun 💙
Tell me what race you've run not worrying about time!
Have you ever visited Montana?
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