Since it was scheduled to happen just one week after the Blue Ridge Marathon this year, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it.
One slow, creaky three-mile run on Thursday was the only running I’d done since the marathon. I wasn’t sure if it would be wise to run the race or not, even though I definitely wanted to.
As I was trying to decide, I read on twitter that the winner of the Big Sur Marathon had run Boston the week before.
I suddenly felt very silly for worrying about running a 5k.
Kurt and I registered at the Monticello visitor’s center on Saturday morning, then jogged the two miles down to the starting line.
I snapped some pictures of the race course on the way down.
The all uphill race begins near the bottom of the Monticello Saunders Trail. It follows the trail up to Saunders Bridge then makes a sharp turn and heads up several switchbacks to the finish line on top of Montalto.
At about 8:15, we lined up for the start.
I took the first mile nice and easy.
I picked up the pace a little for the second mile. I passed Thomas Jefferson (or T.J., as we, his closest neighbors, like to call him.)
I slowed down once I hit the switchbacks, but was surprised that I was able to make it almost all the way to the top without taking a walk break. I definitely ran more than I had last year. I guess taking the first two miles easy had left me with more energy.
I crossed the finish line, found Kurt, grabbed some water and went to pick up our swag. I noticed that we didn’t get a stainless steel water bottle this year (we had every other year), but the offerings were still pretty sweet: seed packet, tasteful & gender-specific t-shirt, coupon for Ragged Mountain Running Shop and a Trail sticker.
New this year, was a “Montalto Challenge” backdrop & photographer. Kurt and I had our picture taken.
T.J. did, too.
There was a live band and, of course, the spectacular mountain-top view.
The winners received the usual Tour-de-France rip-off polka-dot t-shirt. They also received beautiful wooden bowls made from wood found on the trail.
I won two tickets to Monticello and a Ragged Mountain t-shirt.
Interesting side note: My finish time of 30:34 would have gotten me an age-group award in the 40-49 age group, but NOT in the 50-59 age group. Charlottesville’s 50-something women are FAST! Case in Point: Sophie Speidel (age 51) was the 3rd woman over-all.
We were sad that they were not allowing people to walk back down to the visitor’s center this year. We have always enjoyed walking or jogging back down to the car after the race. This year, everybody had to ride the bus.
My times for this race: