My goal for LBL was to make the cutoff at the end of the 3rd loop and then hang on to finish. I was just able to do that. You know you're pretty slow when you get lapped 1 1/2 laps into a 4 lap race. Zach Gingerich (winner of 2010 Umstead 100 in a record 13:23:02) and Troy Shellhamer (winner of 2011 LLTH) cruised past me as though I was standing still. Congrats Troy! I was DFL on the last lap until the gal in front of me took a bathroom break - time 11:15:13, 48th of 49. Still, based on my training (or lack thereof), I'm happy with the effort & feel I'm on track for my goal of finishing Massanutten 100 in May -- still a long ways to go though.
About the race itself:
It was a nice day weather & trail wise. I got my first tanning of the year with the bright sun on my head & back. Although I would have preferred it 20 degrees or more cooler, there was a nice breeze off the lakes. Trails were in good shape despite recent rain in the area.
Lots of familiar faces this day -- got a word or two in with: Steve D., John D., Mike H., Mike M., Mike W., Bob E., Alvin E., Dave B., Brad A., Logan S., Eric S., Rich S., Brian K.,Troy S., and Juli & Val A. Also, Naresh introduced himself -- he had run on the pointed rocks of Mountain Mist 50k with minimalist shoes in January & had remembered me for some reason (probably because I was shirtless).
As always, LBL is a very organized event & enjoyable to run every year (7 in a row now). Multiple distances, traffic, chip timing & numerous other things RDs must manage here -- THANKS Steve & John! Also, many THANKS to super volunteer Mike Howard, who helped motivate me each lap & many THANKS to Jeff Riddle -- my own "cheerleader" on the course -- these guys mean alot when the going gets tough!
Next up is Clinton Lake 30m (yeah, the race right next to the nuclear plant). I was shut out back in January, but Bob O'Brien just recently moved me off the wait list. One thing about running this every year is that it helps gauge my level of fitness, plus this race has helped prepare me for the McNaughton 100 which follows 2 weeks later. I feel that repeating 10 mile loops & encountering somewhat similar type trails & hills is the best training that I can get for McNaughton.