Race report: Montalto Challenge 2013


I wish I had a good juicy race report for this one – it deserves better. This is a unique, all-uphill 5K that finishes at Montalto, which overlooks Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home and a World Heritage site. I mean, who gets to do that? Just me and 300 of my closest running friends. It’s crazy awesome.

Truthfully, it was just one race too many. The Ten Miler in March, Nike Half last weekend, and this, less than a week later. I.Am.Tired. I didn’t sleep well. I didn’t hydrate properly. I didn’t eat breakfast. I haven’t been keeping up with my PT exercises. As a result, I was done by the time I finished my half-mile warmup.

I started walking before we even got to the switchbacks, just over halfway into the race. And then, the switchbacks. Someone at the start said it was a 10% grade. It reminded me of hiking up out of the Grand Canyon, which I did 11 years, two kids, and one hip surgery ago. And it was hard back then. By the time it “leveled” out, relatively speaking, about .3 from the finish, I waved my running partner on ahead and continued trudging.

The view was spectacular, but it was particularly chilly for this time of year, and I couldn’t wait to get off the mountaintop and crank up the heated seats. Not knowing when the buses would start going back down the mountain, we elected to walk down the switchbacks, and then were promptly passed by the first buses that started down the mountain about 90 seconds after we did. Ah, well. At least we enjoyed the view.

And thus concludes my 2012-2013 racing season! I’m looking forward to Saturday morning Mom Tri season, and refocusing my exercise time on my neglected PT exercises and cross training. This year was proof that the bad hip can do everything I want it to – by the time the dog days of summer roll around, I’ll be dreaming of PRs.


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