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Seven Sisters 25k Trail Race - 2023

  • Monday, May 01 2023 @ 01:10 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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My 2023 Seven Sisters 25k race is dedicated to Kip Bester, the best trail dog one could ever ask for, who passed away the night before the race.

The 7 Sisters 25k started in Montreat, North Carolina (not far from Asheville, just north of the town of Black Mountain). The race venue was the Montreat Conference Center, specifically a building called "The Barn".

The start/finish line was in front of The Barn and the first ascent starts almost immediately even before getting onto the trail.

I had some doubts climbing the East Ridge Trail which was the first super steep section. As the race progressed I tried not to redline on the steep sections but also not lose ground to anyone. East Ridge Trail includes a series of crazy loose descents and steep climbs. Then we joined up with the Old Trestle Road which begins a gradual long sustained climb (around 3 miles long) in the middle of the race. I feel like I did really well on that section and started working my way up through the field there.

And finally we started hitting the peaks that make up the Seven Sisters. I did stop to take some quick pictures since I had never been on the upper section of trails like Greybeard Trail before:

Here is one of the turnaround points:

I think this course suited me pretty well with many climbs followed by downhill recoveries. My technical descending still needs some work but I raced hard from Greybeard Mountain across those final set of ridges (sisters!) passing a few more people and then let it rip on the downhill to the finish.

A race photographer was positioned near the bottom of the final long trail descent and caught one of my favorite race photos ever:

Despite being tired and distracted by a distressing night with little sleep, I am super proud of with how I ran that day. I paced it very well, fought hard, and was able to pass people throughout the race to earn a top-10 finish in 2:40:06 and the Masters division win! I wore my Inov-8 TrailTalon 235 shoes which allowed me to be very nimble and light on my feet over the rocky terrain and didn't weigh me down on all that climbing. The race T-Shirt was... unique.

Results: https://ultrasignup.com/results_event...?did=99081

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/8895658847

Check out that wicked elevation profile:

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