Trail running race 5:29:18  28.95 mi (11:22 / mi) +930m 10:21 / mi
shoes: On cloud light grey
Bear Brook Trail Marathon. My goal was to properly fuel during the race with Nuun electrolyte tablets and with Hammergel. There were 5 water/food stops roughly 5 miles spaced apart. I used 6 tablets for the total of the 6 segments drinking about 12 oz each time. I had 4 gels and ate 6 PB and Jam mini breads plus some pretzels and orange slices , all between stops 2 to 5. Another goal was to go a bit easier in the first half compared to my two previous attempts. In both I had terrible cramping during the last third of the race - same also in road marathons and in recent Billygoats and the one Hudson Highlander I did. I had sort of resigned to this dilemma attributing it to age. Well I was wrong! My very serious fueling and careful pacing this time worked!
No cramps whatsoever! No real suffering. In fact I was flying down Big Bear trail and up and over Catamount hill the second time. All this during the critical last third of the race! I managed to pass 4 guys from a group of 8 which I was part of as we all converged not finding the course - a couple of critical junctions that were not properly marked, or else the minflags had been removed by kids or other spoilers who mulled around near the campground. With prior knowledge from last year, I sort of knew where the course was going, so I spent an extra mile trying to find the XC trail beginning at the campground - it worked on the third attempt. Meanwhile the group of 8 just ran down the road, eventually locating the trail which runs parallel. Being a mile (11 + minutes) behind, I really wanted to try to catch the group. Well I got half of them, which meant I had to cruise. And I did, and it felt good!
Also worth mentioning a silly mistake at the Cascades at mile 2+: some gels fell out of my fanny, so I had to go back and fetch them. As I crossed the bridge, I rearranged my fanny and totally missed the right turn off and added a mile going left, which was all flagged because it was our return route. Grrr! A couple of runners also joined me - they also missed the turn off, which BTW was clearly marked. So after correcting the mistake I was at the end of the pack joined by a fellow Chris from Portsmouth, who missed the start by 12 minutes . He pushed ahead a bit faster than I wanted to go, so I let him. He seemed to be my age. In the end he was one of the guys that I passed flying down Catamount Hill 1 mile before the finish. So I slowly worked my way up runner by runner. That was actually fun, chatting a bit while passing people.
Apart from all the route searching, it was a very pleasant race! The weather was cool for July (57 at start, 73 at finish, a but muggy). I am only moderately sore - nothing hurts seriously. The way it should be!