Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2015 Louisville's Lovin' The Hills 50k/15m/6m Registration

Race registration is open at the current HeadFirst Performance official website for LLTH.  The first 200 people who sign up for the 50k and the 15m will receive a bonus race Buff.

Entry Fees:
                  Jan 20 and before          After Jan 20

6 Mile                        $30                              $35

15 Mile                      $50                              $60

50K                           $60                              $70

Online registration will close February 4.

The 2014 info & links listed in the sidebar of this blog are in the process of being updated to 2015.  All the courses for 2015 will essentially be the same as 2014 with only very minor changes to the 15m & 50k.

Updates will be posted here as needed up to a couple days before the race date.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 LLTH Results & Race Recap

The 2014 race results are in.

Some excellent photos have been posted by Shawn Snapp & Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz.  Terry is offering FREE full size downloads of his photos -- prints are available at a nominal fee.  Links to videos have also been posted here

With the devastating ice storm early in the week, this race could have easily have been postponed or cancelled.  With the gritty determination of Cynthia Heady with Headfirst Performance & the Forest Service, the 11th running of LLTH is now history. 
 Photo courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:

This 26" tree fell across the trail in 2 places & was just one of the larger obstacles that were cleared only days before the race:

Those who braved the conditions were rewarded with a most memorable experience.  First words out of most runners mouths was how beautiful the scenery was.  The ice coated trees & snowy hillsides made for stunning views thruout the course.
 Cynthia Heady w/pre-race instructions:

Photo courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:


The race began under cloudy skies with a temp near 20 degrees.  It would remain cloudy & in the 20's all day.  Winds were calm in the morning with a very light breeze later in the day.  There were a few light snow showers thruout the afternoon.  
 Photo courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:            
                                     a cold day:
 course conditions:

There was a lot of ducking, weaving & climbing intermixed with the running on the entire course.  The 1st section had the most obstacles.  At times runners had to deal with near continuous ice laden branches & trees overhanging the trails.  It was difficult to get into a running rhythm.  Backups were not uncommon.


Getting traction in the powdery snow was an issue for most.  Only areas easily accessible to the public during the week around the Welcome Center & the 1st part of the Siltstone Trail were packed down fairly solid.  There was ice on the course, but was limited to the start & end of the 1st section of the course.  You could hardly tell there was a gravel road beneath the thick layer of ice.

In going ahead with this race with so many adverse conditions, there were understandably a few issues.  Hopefully these will not come up again:

2nd section:  When entering Yost, there are no turns required to begin the loop section.  The trail keeps straight & you begin the loop by keeping straight.  There were no flags or signs to indicate a left turn, yet apparently there was confusion & some runners turned left running the small 1.25 mile counter-clockwise loop in a clockwise direction (resulting in confusion for others).  This wasn't a critical error since the net elevation change & distance were the same in either direction.

The aid station at Bearcamp Rd became unattended & the spigots on the coolers froze.

The port-o-potties did not make it to the start location.  The park road was snowy & icy during the week & was closed for extended periods Thursday & Friday so trees could be removed along the road & power restored to the Horine Center.  One potty was eventually delivered too late & then dropped off a 1/4 mile from where it was needed.  I would guess that the icy parking lot at the Scott's Gap aid station was the story there.


Many runners chalked up a personal worst for their respective distances.  The winning finish times were the slowest in the history of LLTH, yet they were quite impressive considering the conditions this day.

                2014 winners                                2013 winners  
Avery Collins       5:13:26                 Scott Breeden      4:07:38
Michelle Bichsel  6:56:13                 Andrea Ring         6:11:37

Samuel Morgan   2:24:36                  Ryan Althaus       1:53:55 

Ashley Ruberg    2:37:52                  Rebecca  Boyle    2:07:53

Gerry Emerson       58:05                 Daniel Blandford     40:39
Alicia Heyne       1:02:53                  Rella Faye Harmon 52:58 


 6 mile winners:

Photos courtesy of Terry Fletcher w/SPORTZbizz:


15m winners:

50k winners: 

Congrats & Thanks to all runners who made 2014 LLTH a BIG success this year!  Thanks also to the Headfirst Performance crew & all the volunteers.  Special thanks to Cynthia Heady who made this race happen & once again provided some great homemade soups for everyone!

If anyone has pictures they wish to share with others, post your link or send it to edibo@insightbb.com.  Also, you can send any name spelling or results corrections to the same address.  Thanks.  


Thursday, February 6, 2014

2-6-14 LLTH last minute notes

Online registration from the Headfirst Performance website has closed.  Late registration is available at packet pickup on Friday (7th) at Ken Combs Running Store from 12 noon to 6:00 pm EST and on race morning from 6:30 - 7:30 am EST at the Horine Center at the FINISH area.

Quest Outdoors recently announced they're having a FREE pre-race pasta dinner again this year at their store at 2330 Frankfort Road in Louisville (same location as the last 2 years) from 5:30 to 8:00 pm EST Friday night (7th).  A feature running movie will be showing.  All items in the store have been discounted 30% or more.

The Forest had several inches of snow Sunday night and Tuesday night there was rain & freezing rain.  The trails are snowy -- a little crunchy on top -- most of the snow is powdery.  Due to the ice, lots of branches have fallen onto the trail.  There are also MANY trees that are bent over into the trail or have fallen onto the trails.  The current forecast is calling for below freezing temps the rest of the week with more precipitation a possibility.

All the streams have been low or frozen this week.

On the Blue Trail (about mile 7) at the dam Wednesday morning:

Flagging will be pink again this year.  Trail junctions will be marked with several flags & major junctions will also have signs or a volunteer on site.  Intermediate flagging is spaced approx. 100 to 200 feet along the entire course.

I would have posted this yesterday morning, but my power & internet service have been out due to the ice storm since Tuesday night.  I'm posting this from the Fairdale library.

Just checked & am unable to access the Headfirst Performance website from this location.  Will find out what's going on with this.

p.m. update --

Access to the Headfirst Performance website has been corrected.

The Forest Service is working on removing the large trees that are down, however it's unlikely they will get them all removed by race day & more may fall in the meantime.  There are countless trees bent over into the trail that won't be removed by race day.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

1-7-2014 LLTH update

Registration is still available at the official website of LLTH.   Entry fees increase after Monday, January 20.  Late registration & also packet pickup is available on Friday, Feb 7, at Ken Combs Running Store from 12 noon to 6:00 pm EST and on race morning from 6:30 - 7:30 am EST at the Horine Center (Lodge) at the FINISH area.

The Forest Service made good on their promise and closed off the most scenic section in Yost to the public.  Since the course went thru this area, it will be necessary to make major changes this year.

With the shortened Yost section, it's been decided to add in the Purple Heart Trail including a section around Tom Wallace Lake.  The Purple Heart loop was once a part of the LLTH course 10 years ago when the Scott's Gap loop was temporarily shut off for a couple years.  Even though the Purple Heart Trail thruout its history has suffered damage from horse traffic & the total lack of any trail drainage maintenance, the scenic views atop the ridges are the broadest of any other place on the course.  Just be prepared for trails that resemble ditches on the hills.

The links to the new 50k & 15m courses are listed in the side menu of this blog and here:  


The 6m course is the 1st section of the 15m & 50k and remains unchanged from last year.

Highlights of the course changes:

both 15m & 50k:

Shortens the trail segment in Yost from 4.5 miles to 1.8 miles.  Most of the 1.8 miles utilizes the one trail designated for foot travel only (no horses, bikes or ATVs) in Yost.

Adds in the Purple Heart loop (2.5 miles)

Removes the aid station in Yost & at the Tom Wallace parking lot.  Adds in a new aid station at the start & end of the Purple Heart loop.  15m will have access to this new aid station twice & the 50k 3 times.

15m only:

Increases (by a distance of 1 mile) the out'n'back portion of last year's race past the Welcome Center to connect to the Purple Heart loop.  The course will be longer than last year.

A training run has been scheduled for Sunday, the 12th.  Details are listed in the FAQ and for any future training runs.