As the first Saturday in November brings a fall tradition in Asheville NC. The 31st annual Shut-In Trail Race kicked off with some early winter weather. Quick paces and a super good time.
Excited as all get out to be back in the mountains. I've been eying this event since last years race. Really wanting to prove to myself that I can learn from my mistakes
Started out a bit in control and a touch on the edge. It was a must to avoid the elbow bumping to come as the jeep road turns into singletrack. Spotted some speedy friends up ahead early on. Making a steady charge to bridge the gaps. Steady was the key. Still excited as all get out.
Plan was to break the race into 4 sections. Start to AS1 single track. (3 mi) AS1 to Bent Creek AS (9mi), Bent Creek AS to Hwy 151 (15mi), Hwy 151 to Finish (17.8mi). Could not had worked out better. Felt good in the early miles. Chasing friends seems to always make the time go by quickly. So by Bent Creek the race was already half way through. Although the climbing really starts here. As the altitude climbed the temps really started to drop. Then the snow starts.
Stayed on top of my calories early on. Correcting one huge mistake from last year. Staying steady still. Run what I can and power hike what I can't. The big test comes at Hwy 151. The final 1.8 miles is some kind of torture. Trying to keep enough ump in the bank. Hoping to correct the biggest mistake of last years event. As the wave of hamstring cramps and an IT band issue rears it's ugly head. Step by step, topping out the beast to one more rocky decent to the finish. I've just knocked 20 minutes off my 09 time. Big Thanks to the Harbison Trail Runners who went up for this event.
3:16 ~17.8 miles
This worked out great.