Sunday, February 7, 2010

LLTH 2010 - a tough one

The challenge of LLTH is not just the hills. The uncertain February weather & course conditions will always be a part of the race:

This year saw a storm dump over an inch of rain onto an already wet course Friday, leading to high streams & lots of standing water on the trails. With the rain changing to snow overnight, the puddles & the mud would be hidden from sight with a 1-2" white blanket. It wouldn't take long though, for the runners to reveal all those puddles, splashing water & mud everywhere. Eventually the mud worked it's way to the top on most, but not on all the trails. Where the trail drained well & was on the shady side of the hills, the snow would remain & become packed down as the day wore on. On some hills, the wet snow actually provided better traction than had there been mud alone.

Temperatures hovered at or just below the freezing mark all day. There was a 15-20 mph north wind most of the day. Gusts were in the 25-30 mph range & most noticeable on the ridge tops.

Counting race day registration, there were close to 200 entries for the 50k & 15m races this year -- a record. Also a record in the number of 15m finishers. The slushy, muddy parking areas in the grassy fields next to the Start held up surprisingly well. This was the first test as they've always been fairly dry or frozen in previous years.


Congratulations are in order for everyone who finished this day! Special honors go to Eric Grossman, the one responsible for starting this wonderful race in 2004 and returning for his 3rd 50k overall win this year. Full results are posted on the Headfirst Performance website.

THANKS go out to Cynthia & Todd Heady, who once again put on another great event and to all the runners & volunteers who helped make LLTH another success this year!

Anyone who took pictures & wishes to share them on this site, let me know! The Forest was a really gorgeous backdrop to the race this year with the wet snow plastered onto the trees and the snow covering everything with a sound deadening blanket -- a true winter wonderland!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

last minute notes 2010

Course: The 5" snow from last weekend has been melting away this week. Could get a little messy if we get all the precipitation that's forecast the next couple days. Below are a couple pics on the Blue Trail (3rd Leg) at the dam -- just a little snow left in the shaded areas as of this morning:

Parking: Much of the ground near the start is saturated, but I've been informed by the Forest staff that the grassy fields adjacent to the start area actually have a gravel base beneath them -- I have not confirmed this personally on site . . .

Early packet pickup: Time has been changed to 11 am to 6 pm (was 10 am to 7 pm) Friday at Ken Combs Running Store. You can also register for the race here.

Extra goodies: There will be an extra item in some of the race packets: buffs to the 1st 100 entrants by date; socks or gloves in some of the others.

Entrants: The entry list has been updated thru 2-3-10, 74 entries for the 50k, 88 for the 15m.

New photo gallery: Eric Grossman, the founder of LLTH & one of the top ultrarunners in the country, is the current record holder for the 50k (2007) and plans to participate again this year. He has just uploaded all of his pictures from the 2005 LLTH, the 2nd of the two races which he directed -- the new photo gallery is posted under 2005 by Eric Grossman. Thanks Eric for sharing!

I hope everyone gets the chance to take in the sights thruout the Forest when they're running & when they can afford to take their eyes off the trail. Although the Jefferson Memorial Forest has been scarred badly in recent years from tornadoes, a hurricane & a severe ice storm, there are still very nice areas to enjoy.

You may want to check out the Horine Center (Lodge) after the finish -- I've heard that there will be at least a half dozen hot soups to choose from (Cynthia doesn't want you to leave hungry)!

May everyone have a SAFE & FUN race!