XTERRA Power to the Tower 21k Recap

11 Apr

Thought I would do a brief recap on the 21k I did this past Sat. To start, let me say that I was TOTALLY unprepared to run that distance . . . and I knew that going in so I went with the mindset that I would run as much as I could and I would finish. Mission accomplished! 

I would love love love to do the race again next year . . . possibly even the 50k –> if I train and get the mileage in (though I must admit when I got to mile 14 I thought how on earth do people run more than this?!). If anyone else out there teaches fitness classes and runs long distances, I’d love tips! I find it hard to find both the motivation and the time not to mention the childcare . . . 

so the race. It was put on by Fleet Feet in Kingsport, TN. The store is owned by a great running guy (duh) and he started the race by playing the song Amazing Grace and then had a local preacher lead us in prayer. It took about 4 min too long — everyone was antsy to start running but beyond that it was just lovely — the guy praying said during the prayer something about how the Bible mentions multiple times running with patience and running our own race and he reminded us to run with that in mind. 

So I knew based on fitness level/running ability I was in it for the long haul and would take the course at an easy pace. First mile was flat and took about 11 min. Totally fine. Mile 2 we hit the first hill and EVERYONE was walking – I’ve never seen such a thing in a race! It was muddy and rocky and oh-so-steep. First aid station was at the top of the 1/4 mile hill (seemed longer, I must say!) but I was still ok at that point. It was probably more for the 5 milers. 

so Mile 3-7 were uneventful ish. Not too bad, walked a little, made some nameless friends, kept on going. Mile 7ish is when the hills. mountains started. through about mile i don’t know 11? lots of walking. ran when i could but this was not a push it race and i wanted to be able to actually get to the finish. around mile 5ish i think i was running with this girl and we stayed together pretty much the rest of the race. this was especially awesome when we got to mile 12. 

this was a trail race and while the course was marked there were arrows at one point that went in seemingly two directions on two different trails (they all have names — azalea, crescent, etc). we got to a point and it was hard to tell which way to go (and my hip flexors were super tight at this point. lack of time doing this distance. fail). so we chose option to the UPHILL. it didn’t seem quite right while we were going up but we followed the arrows.

got to a left turn and met a guy coming back down — turns out we were going the wrong way. like we were heading back UP the MOUNTAIN. For the record – not the only people who did this. 

I’m not totally unhappy or surprised with my 3+ hour time (ridiculous for a 1/2 I know but this was a TOUGH course under fully trained conditions). All in all, it was a 14.14 mile race and I’m very happy I did it and next year I’ll do it even better! You should do it too! 

PS The photos are at www.docophotography.com — the site asks people not to use photos for personal use per copyright so go to the site and check out the XTERRA Power to the Tower pics. They don’t fully do it justice but it’s a gorgeous course! 

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