Race report: Montalto Challenge


It went better than I hoped! Because I signed up so late, my pre race freak out happened in the car on the way there when I realized I hadn’t brought my Garmin with me. I considered turning around to go get it, but didn’t want to chance being late. Naturally, I was way too early and spent a good while sitting in my car trying to un-freak.

I picked up my number and was slightly bummed to hear that there would be no official timing for the walkers, making me wish for my Garmin even more. I milled around, said hello to a few familiar faces, and headed to the start.

Just then Jen texted me, and I hustled back to the crowd to say a quick hello, and got a quick “Knock knock” (teehee) in return. I sooooo needed that!

For the first time ever, I lined up at the very front of the pack. Check out the awesome start line!


And then we were off!

The first almost two miles are very familiar to me – it’s one of my favorite runs. Shady boardwalk and crushed gravel paths. I ran a total of about five minutes. Truthfully, despite all the walking, my hip didn’t feel warmed up and I couldn’t find a good running rhythm. It just wasn’t comfortable. It occurred to me later that all my runs so far have been on the treadmill. Running on real ground, even when the ground is fancy Monticello gravel, is a whole new challenge.

Just shy of mile 2 we hit the switchbacks. Signs were thoughtfully provided to remind us of our progress.


I was expecting this part to be tough, and it was. There’s no shade, it was humid and getting hotter by the minute, and I was already pretty fatigued. I was also starving, and wished I’d brought some kind of nutrition with me. I slogged up the switchbacks, but soon enough the amazing view almost made me forget the torture. I could see all of the city, I could see the University. I could see Monticello. There were even two hot air balloons in the distance.

And before I knew it, I was on the home stretch, with Repose looming just above, and the sound of bagpipes filtering down.

As I crossed the three mile mark, the first runner blew past me – walkers had a 30 minute head start. I had expected to be passed earlier and by more people, so it was a thrill to finish behind only one runner.

When all was said and done, I was the 6th walker to the top, and that includes two who ran most of the first half.


That’s a pretty respectable time if I do say so myself. Honestly, I regret starting with the walkers. I wish I’d gone with the runners – I wouldn’t have been the last up. And I would have had an official time, and gotten to cross the real finish line. But I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t have the safety net of being a walker. Next year!


One Response to “Race report: Montalto Challenge”

  1. 1 Jen

    Dang girl, you ZOOMED up that mountain. Imagine what you’re going to do next year when you run it!


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