Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rothrock Trail Challenge 2015

The 7th Annual (my first) Rothrock Trail Challenge was held on Saturday, June 6th at the Tussey Ski Area in Boalsburg, PA.  This race is part of both the LaSportiva Mountain Cup Series and the Trailrunner Magazine's Trophy Series.  The race's website states that "Our course is designed to reward those who have trained and to punish those who haven't."
RTC Elevation Profile

I was really concerned about the start of the race and voiced that fear publicly.  Friends said not to worry about the beginning but to worry about this part, or that part, or the end.  So then I just worried about the whole thing.  Ha!  But, I left there that day feeling that I had found a new favorite.  This race is beautiful, challenging, well-organized, and fun!
Sayard, Dennis, and Myself post-race

Certainly not my fastest performance, I finished 215/386 overall, 24/51 in my AG (F30-39) with a time of 4:29:49.  That's a 15:41/pace.  I was actually quite pleased because I was just hoping to come under 5 hours!
Don't ya just love trail grit?!
Photos courtesy of See PA Run and Amey Johnson

I'm not going to write a full race recap because honestly I waited too long to remember the details.  But I will say this, I will do this race again in the future without hesitation.  What I loved about it the most was that my body would be pushed to the limit on a climb, or a descent, or a really rocky portion of trail and just when I thought I could go no further, the trail would change and give me something different.  The beauty of the trail and the woods toward the end of the race erased the pain of the previous four hours before I even crossed the finish line.
Just keep climbing!

Once across the finish line we were treated to some lunch.  I grabbed some pizza, a chocolate milk, and a ginger ale.  An ice cream truck came as well and I would have loved to have some but just worried my stomach wouldn't handle it.

I often wonder if trail races are all like this no matter where you go, or if I've just been fortunate to live in an area that has races like these.  What I mean is, when I go to these things, it feels like a family reunion.  You get to catch up with friends, eat a bunch of food, maybe drink a beer, and just have a really great time.  Whatever the case may be, Rothrock is an outstanding time and I cannot wait to go back.
Good times, great people!

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