Hudson Highlander, the traditional "metric marathon" in Harriman State Park. I only signed up for the Lowlander (13.1km), but after finishing it there was an option to continue to do the full thing, I felt pretty good still, so...why not? Besides I really wanted the HH beanie hat!
Ideal conditions, low 50s in the morning, warmed up a bit but I never felt too warm. Aching legs slowed me down enough on the second half not to feel the heat. Yesterday I "carbed up" to have sufficient energy and leg muscle strength, it really helped as I felt pretty fine for the first 15-20km.
Great fun courses, quite tough terrain, very rocky with lots of mountain laurel, meter high blueberry bushes which really impeded running, and occasional brambles. Spiked the approach to virtually all controls, but messed up route choice somewhat on four legs (5 and 6, 8, and 13).
Placed 27 out of about 44 who finished. Just shy of 5 hours, not breaking records! but finishing was the goal. Greg Ahlswede impressed with 177 minutes. I completed the first two legs in 148 minutes, which was about 11th place out of 35 had I just done the Lowlander.
Mass start at 9am, on the beach of Lake Welch. Nice flat fast run to 1. Then soon into the terrain. I went reasonably fast, legs felt great. Strangely lost contact with everyone else half way to #2, and didn't see a soul until #8. On way to 5 got pushed down the hill and ended up on a path further south than planned, maybe 1 min. Coming out of 6, didn't find the path leading north and so strayed a bit west looking for it, lost 1 min. Finished first loop (6.3km) in 1:09:17 (11 min/km) - pacing myself.
Liquid refreshments and refueling at 7, then onto second loop. Failed to see the impassable fence just south of the road, so had to double back a bit, probably lost 1 min compared to running across the parking lot etc. Then got tangled in dense brambleberry / thornbushes, was an old farmstead, had to veer north to escape. 30 sec. Spiked #8 and finally met up with some people, including Nadim and Jeffrey, we kept company until half way to 13 when I went further east than them trying to escape the mountain laurel, not very successfully, should have stayed with the crowd and looked for the path through the green. Looking at splits I lost 2-3 minutes vs. Nadim and others there, and dropped from 21st to 27th place, which I never recovered from. Then at the finish, after 13.1km, felt good enough that I decided to continue and do the full Highlander, after drinks and a banana. Second loop (6.8km) took 1:20:52 (11.89 min/km).
Third leg was a 5.7km trail run, no issues obviously though lost the path at one point and ended up on a parallel road. Fairly slow running as my legs were beginning to give out, cramped up a couple of times on the trail. Lost time to stronger runners here! Took a graceful 45:19 (7.95 min/km).
More refreshments at 17, then finally the last loop, 6.7km. 18 through 24 were very technical, I thoroughly enjoyed it with no real mistakes, other than 19 where I stood 10 meters from the control without seeing it for a while, and 24 where apparently (according to splits) I lost 1 minute or more by going straight, most people went SE out of 23. Quite tough rocky terrain, but some very beautiful legs like 21 (nice and open uphill), and at the top of the cliff half way to 24 the scenery overlooking various lakes was stunning. A couple had strung up a hammock at the lookout, looked tempting! At this point I was walking much of the time as legs were pretty much gone. 27 was tough, lots of uphill but especially dense meter high blueberry most of the way which made running very hard (so I didn't!). In hindsight a better route choice was to follow the path and the road, which some people did. Once past the blueberry en route to 28 the forest opened up and was quite enjoyable. 28 and 29 were repeats from loop 2. Final loop took a very, very slow 1:43:27 (15.44 min/km), Sunday walking in the woods pace!
Maps with GPS:https://s3.amazonaws.com/oxensnas/Archive/Archive/...https://s3.amazonaws.com/oxensnas/Archive/Archive/...https://s3.amazonaws.com/oxensnas/Archive/Archive/...https://s3.amazonaws.com/oxensnas/Archive/Archive/...