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Spinx Run Fest Half Marathon 2023

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  • Wednesday, November 01 2023 @ 01:25 PM UTC
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Spinx Run Fest was an enjoyable event with the Fluor Field ball park making a great race venue. The event includes race options of Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k. I ran the Half.









This was one of my faster half marathons, finishing in 1:25:47 averaging 6:32 per mile.

The Half Marathon was held on Saturday, October 28, 2023.

Results: https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/32...4#U4451133

Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/10119117739

Seven Sisters 25k Trail Race - 2023

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  • Monday, May 01 2023 @ 01:10 AM UTC
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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:

Trail of Payne 10k 2023 and 2022

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  • Thursday, March 30 2023 @ 12:28 AM UTC
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Trail of Payne 10k 2023 aka last run of the New Balance Minimus MT00.



I used some Shoe Goo to make my old New Balnce Minimus shoes ready for race day. Those shoes have been great for this course because they drain so well and do very well on grass and less technical trails.

It was a warm and humid morning, not my favorite racing weather. I feel good about my effort and performance, 40:30 which was exactly 1 minute faster than the year before.

I was 3rd overall to earn this nice custom award (usable as a charcuterie or cutting board or just as a piece of art) and a gift certificate to Lloyd Clarke Sports:



Results: https://results.raceroster.com/v2/en-...XgcBPnrDtk



Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/8774456743

By the end of the race, the Minimus uppers had started to separate a bit and I figured that re-gluing every seam would detract a lot from the benefits of this shoe (light weight and flexible) and I just don't want to risk them falling apart during a race. I retired them.

I noticed that I had not blogged about the 2022 race. I think I didn't have a single photo. But it was a big year because I actually won the race!

Results: https://results.raceroster.com/v2/en-...?subEvent=



Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/6885230338

Assault on Blackrock 2023

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  • Sunday, March 19 2023 @ 07:47 PM UTC
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According to the race website, the Assault on Blackrock 7 mile trail race includes 2,770 feet of elevation gain to the achieve the summit of BlackRock at 5,810 feet.



It was a cold morning in Sylva, North Carolina. With the temperature just below freezing in the parking lot, it was nice that they had a fire going.



This was a hard race... the cold air burned my lungs and the steep climb had me walking much more than I expected. After starting off a little too fast I was able to maintain a top-10 position all the way to the top.

The top of the mountains were all frosted over and as we climbed the last final frigid singletrack the whole thing was pretty magical. The temperature dropped and the trees were white and an occasional "snowflake" drifted down.





I passed one other runner on the way down the mountain to finish in 8th place overall. But best of all... I beat the 101 minute challenge and earned a belt buckle!






Here are some more photos from the top of Blackrock:

GATE River Run 15k 2023

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  • Sunday, March 05 2023 @ 06:00 PM UTC
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Not my fastest finish and I didn't hit my usual goal of going under 1 hour but on this warm and humid day I actually placed higher in my age group than ever before at this race (4th place!) and 117th male overall out of over 5200 men. I think the conditions definitely impacted a lot of other runners, too.



I started a little further back than usual in the start coral this year. There were a lot of other runners around and in front of me for most of the first mile but I stayed relaxed and gradually worked my way forward. Sometimes I have a tendency to go out too fast so I figured this would actually be ok to help keep my pace under control.

By the Main Street bridge I was locked in to my planned race pace with plenty of room to run.



At this point I was still smiling and able to give a thumbs up to the camera:



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