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I always enjoy writing a little something about each race and this Saturday was dedicated to the Dam 50K at Smith Mountain Lake in western Virginia. This was another David Horton race and as always the organization from sign up on Ultra Sign Up to the finish with Lauren Acker of the Franklin County YMCA helping and just in general being awesome. Here is the bullet list of highlights (as there are never any negatives)

  • The elevation profile is absolutely extraordinary for a challenge with a little twist at mile 21-ish that includes a 1,400 foot incline over a mile that was renamed “The Death Crawl”. At first, I thought he was exaggerating about the full mile of elevation… David wasn’t. The total elevation ended at around 3,600 feet over the 32.2 miles.
  • The scenery was absolutely incredible with white and purple flower trees (I am not a botanist at all) budding all along the roads and the trail portion was secluded with great markings to keep us all on course.
  • Here is the food bullet: Awesome food with today’s treat being of the Rice Krispie persuasion during the run. Nothing really new to the table and at each aid station the volunteers were absolutely incredible! David has seriously some of the best volunteers I’ve encountered.
  • On a personal note, I think I finally overcame my fear of hills and went to prove to me even more so that training weaknesses is CRUCIAL to improvement. Never did I think I was going to finish a run like this in just over 5 hours.
  • The gift at the end (besides the primarily down hill final 5 miles) was a killer wine bottle holder with a rod of what I am assuming is a piece of the Smith Lake Dam stuck in the hole.
  • Most of all I was happy with my ability to run SMART. i took my time on the uphill and downhill portions, remained COMPLETELY ankle roll free and was able to get some good sub 7:30 minute miles for the final 5 with a downhill sub 6:00 minute mile. I may be picking up on this trail running thing a bit.

Had I had some cash on me, I would have taken advantage of the discounted ticket to the Smith Lake Dam Festival but plastic rules for now in my wallet. It looked delicious and a nice family get together like environment with big Jenga and some ball on a string tossing game, a band and a few food trucks offering up a smell that almost had me going to an ATM. After that, got home, got clean and wrote this up for fun. Thank you for reading and live to improve!

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