Tuesday, October 26, 2021

2022 Louisville's Lovin' The Hills 50k/15m/6m Registration

Registration for the 18th running of Louisville's Lovin' The Hills, to be held at 8:00 a.m. EST on Saturday, February 5, 2022, is open on UltraSignup at https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=87105

The HeadFirst Performance website is currently under construction and will not be available until completed.  

Google has deleted their "Classic Sites" website, where information for this blog is sorted & stored, so not all links listed in this blog will be available until I've converted to their new format of "Google Sites".  Just started work on it . . . .

Additional information will be added here once it becomes available.



Friday, January 15, 2021

2021 Louisville's Lovin' The Hills 50k/15m/6m

Sorry, but Jefferson Memorial Forest (JMF) will not approve 2021 LLTH in February regardless of any Covid precautionary plan.  Headfirst Performance may offer a new event in JMF later this year.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

2020 LLTH Results and Race Recap

Preliminary results have been posted.   The direct link is currently at: 
http://headfirstperformance.com/Results/20LLTHResults.pdf

Updated results are now at:
http://headfirstperformance.com/Results/20LLTHResults1.pdf

If this link does NOT work, it's probably because the results have been updated and I just haven't updated the direct link listed here.  In that case, you can find the most current results on the Headfirst Performance website under the Results tab.

If you note any errors or have any missing information, notify Headfirst Performance (see Contact Us on their website) -- the sooner the better.  Results will be on Ultrasignup at a later date once the results have been finalized and they get them uploaded to that site.



 recap :   (photos & photo links to be added later)

A great turnout for the 17th running of LLTH (around 400 registrants) despite the prospect of wet trail conditions and with the snow showers in the preceding hours before the start.  It hovered around the freezing point early and it would reach the lower 40's by late afternoon on a mostly cloudy day with the winds becoming breezy by noon.  


The 1/2"-1" snow from very early Thursday morning had disappeared from the trails during the day Thursday but remained about everywhere else till late afternoon.  Also the early race morning dusting of snow quickly disappeared from the running surfaces.  The grass parking areas were snow covered early and everyone handled them OK.  



With only minor & rare freeze/thaw cycles this "warm" winter, the trail foundations have been solid this season in the Forest including this week.  The rain on Tue, the 1/2"-1" snow in the very early Thu a.m. hours and a dusting of snow just before the race kept the trail surfaces wet, but overall in fair to good condition.  Of course there were some real muddy spots, but they were somewhat isolated -- these poorly draining areas are muddy even in drier times.  

Scott's Gap Trail and the far (west) end of the Siltstone Trail were a little surface wet/damp and in very good condition.

The dropoff that was mentioned in the "last minute notes" post didn't cause any problems race day.  The area had dried up since that rain on Tuesday and someone had also fashioned a rock "step down" which provided a solid landing coming downhill.  Didn't see that landing on the return trip but by then it had really dried up & was uphill anyway.


2020 winners:

50k:   Bob Adams        4:34:09      Sally Thompson*      5:56:10

15m:  Garrett Bowers  2:05:03      Amanda LeBlanc**   2:12:42

6m:   Thomas Hunter     47:59      Rachel Noirot             53:47 


*Sally Thompson becomes the 2nd runner, joining Alicia Heyne, to have completed a LLTH TRIPLE -- that is, have wins in the 6m, 15m and 50k.  For Sally, the wins have been: 6m (2016), 15m (2018) and the 50k (2020).  For Alicia, it was:  6m (2014), 15m (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) and the 50k (2018). 

**Amanda LeBlanc improved on her winning time of 2:22:55 last year & had the fastest time for Females since the hilly Purple Heart section was incorporated into a new, longer 15m course in 2014, surpassing the 2:13:32 by Alicia Heyne in 2015.



shirt, Hoorag & finisher medal:
 


An award is issued to runners when reaching 10 finishes at LLTH.  2 runners reached that milestone this year:  Joseph Haist and Miles Spalding -- Congratulations!  A list of the all time finishers at LLTH with a minimum of 2 finishes can be found here:

ALL TIME LIST

As noted previously,  in collaboration with Land Between the Lakes (LBL), a special award will be given to those who complete both LLTH (50k, 15m or 6m) and LBL (50m, 60k, marathon or 23k).  Information on LBL can be found here:  https://runsignup.com/Race/KY/GrandRivers/LandBetweentheLakestrailruns.


If you have any photos/videos/race reports you wish to share on this blog, send them or the link to Ed at edibo@insightbb.com.  Thanks!

Congrats & Thanks to all!  Thanks also to the Headfirst Performance crew & all the volunteers!

Special Thanks to Todd & Cynthia Heady who went ahead & put the race on this year despite most difficult times for them recently.





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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Feb-5-2020 LLTH last minute notes

Online registration thru Ultrasignup has been extended thru tonight (Feb 5). 

There are 2 locations in Louisville with early packet pickup & registration on Friday, February 7:   KEN COMBS RUNNING STORE at 4137 Shelbyville Road from 12 noon to 3 pm EST and at QUEST OUTDOORS at 4600 Shelbyville Road in the Shelbyville Road Plaza from 5 to 7 pm EST.  QUEST OUTDOORS will be having their FREE pre-race pasta dinner again this year at their store location from 5 to 7 pm EST -- everyone is welcome.

You can also register or pick up your race packet at the Horine Center at the Start/Finish area on race morning starting around 7 am EST.  It's recommended to pick up your packet on Friday to avoid the rush & lines on race day.

Flagging will be orange 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. 200 to 300 feet along the entire course.

Out on the course today, the trails were wet from the rain yesterday but were hardly muddy at all (with a few exceptions) -- nothing like a couple years ago when the frozen trails thawed the day before the race making it muddy, then rain on race day.  Hard to predict what the trails will be like 3 days from now as the forecast for race day has been changing daily . . . .   The most current forecast can be found here:

National Weather Service


For current road/weather conditions (traffic cams):  Weatherbug

The courses are the same as last year with the minor exception being a short re-route around the 1st small lake at about mile 6.5.  After crossing the dam, instead of going thru the spillway, you'll now go over it using a small bridge (slick when wet!) and traverse a newly cut trail thru a dirt (now mud!) bank.




NOTE for 50k runners only:


There's one precautionary note I would like to add here.  Normally I  would not have to say anything to ultrarunners about trail technicalities, however, since it was a tricky maneuver for me today and the potential for real injury is there, I felt it best to at least say something about it.

At about mile 14.5, OUTBOUND on the Siltstone Trail, there's a small bridge where the trail turns right immediately at the end of it.  There use to be a large stump there that supported the trail on the corner but that has slipped off down the hill leaving a dropoff/hole & roots.  Be careful, especially if wet & slick, as a small trip or slip here will send you down a steep ravine on the right, and it's a long way to the bottom.




Photo shows the dropoff looking from the OPPOSITE direction going INBOUND (uphill) on Siltstone -- ravine is on the left in this photo.  The bridge end is tricky going OUTBOUND (downhill) and is about a half a mile past the little shelter on the sidewalk where the railroad tie steps start. Photo is deceptive & it's steeper than it looks.

                                          
A sign is being made & will be installed by race day & say something like:  "CAREFUL  DROPOFF AHEAD"  The bridge itself is a little green from the lack of really cold temps so you don't want to be flying across this slick bridge anyway to find this surprise.



 
Feb 6 update:
Found an older photo at the same location (runner is Rob Apple) when the big stump was still there:

             2010 LLTH photo by Susan Donnelly


Feb 7 update:
Early this morning near mile 6.5 on the Blue Trail:

We didn't get all the rain forecast for this week but we did get a 1/2" - 1" snow last night.  The snow has been melting all day with upper 30's this afternoon --- the current forecast calls for more wet snow in the morning. 




Be SAFE, HAVE FUN & GOOD LUCK!




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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

2020 Louisville's Lovin' The Hills 50k/15m/6m Registration


The new official website for LLTH is at HeadFirst Performance (updated).  You can follow the link to registration on Ultrasignup from there or use this direct link:  https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=70415

Entry Fees:


                                      After Dec 9   After Jan 9
6 Mile $35                 $40           $45
15 Mile   $50                 $55           $60
50K   
$75                 $80           $85
                
Online registration will close on Monday, February 3, 2020. 


There are 2 locations in Louisville with early packet pickup & registration on Friday, February 7:   KEN COMBS RUNNING STORE at 4137 Shelbyville Road from 12 noon to 3 pm EST and at QUEST OUTDOORS at 4600 Shelbyville Road in the Shelbyville Road Plaza from 5 to 7 pm EST.  QUEST OUTDOORS will be having their FREE pre-race pasta dinner again this year at their store location from 5 to 7 pm EST -- everyone is welcome.

 

You can also register or pick up your race packet at the Horine Center at the Start/Finish area on race morning around 7 am EST.  It's recommended to pick up your packet on Friday to avoid the rush & lines on race day.

Race buffs will be available to 50k & 15m runners who register thru UltraSignup.  After online registration closes, any remaining buffs will be distributed to late registrants on a first come first serve basis.


In collaboration with Land Between the Lakes (LBL), a special award will be given to those who complete both LLTH (50k, 15m or 6m) and LBL (50m, 60k, marathon or 23k).  Information on LBL can be found here:  https://runsignup.com/Race/KY/GrandRivers/LandBetweentheLakestrailruns.

The 2019 info & links listed in the sidebar of this blog are in the process of being updated to 2020.  All the courses for 2020 will essentially be the same as 2019 with only minor changes.  
Updates will be posted here on this blog as needed.  A "last minute" update is usually posted 2 or 3 days before the race date.




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Saturday, February 9, 2019

2019 LLTH Results and Race Recap

Preliminary results have been posted.   The direct link is currently at

 http://69.195.124.103/~headfir2/Results/19LLTHreport.pdf

Results are now at:

http://69.195.124.103/~headfir2/Results/19LLTH.pdf

http://headfirstperformance.com/Results/19LLTH1.pdf

If you note any errors, send the corrections to Headfirst Performance.  Results will be posted on Ultrasignup once they are finalized.

Recap

The 16th running of LLTH is now history!


The weather always seem to play a part & adds to the challenge every year -- it was no different this time:

Ice

I didn't notice water draining onto the course & freezing, other than a small section of sidewalk, but on one access road to the race, there was water draining from the hill & it formed sheets of ice. The hill had been salted, but was useless as a constant stream of water flowed down & across the road & took the salt with it.

As the start of the race approached, it was observed that more race packets than expected were unclaimed.  Word came in that traffic had backed up on the hill coming from Fairdale when drivers could not get by the ice on the steep hill.  Someone was dispatched to assist, but word that the start would be delayed 30 minutes came too late for some in line & they gave up.  Everyone who was patient or just couldn't get out of the line made it in time for the start.

                Photo by Headfirst Performance

Trail conditions

At one time the forecast called for low teens on race morning & it was expected to freeze the course.  With a temp of 19 degrees though & sunny skies at the race start, the trails were partially wet in some areas, even on the 1st section.  I believe that the ground was still retaining some heat from the unseasonably high temps (mid 60's) less than 2 days earlier.  Temps would reach the mid 30's by late afternoon.  Many trails were rough thruout the day as there were many footprints & ridges pushed up that were frozen into the trail from foot traffic earlier in the week.  The most thawing I noticed in the afternoon was towards the west end of the course at Scott's Gap and where parts of the trails were exposed to the sun.

          Photo by Headfirst Performance

2019 winners:

50k:    Nathan Holland   4:23:21*         Sarka Petrickova      5:50:17

15m:   Eric Smith           1:58:24          Amanda Leblanc      2:22:55

6m:     Derek Montoya      49:57          Emma Kendall            54:39

*Nathan Holland picked up his 2nd straight win in the 50k by demolishing the competition (a record margin of victory) in the 3rd fastest time recorded at LLTH.

                Photo by Headfirst Performance

shirt, buff, gloves & finisher medal:




An award is issued to runners when reaching 10 finishes at LLTH.  2 runners reached that milestone this year:  Ben Mast and Patrick Schmidt -- Congratulations!

If anyone has photos (or drone video!) they wish to share with others, post your link or send it/them to edibo@insightbb.com.   Thanks!


Photos by Headfirst Performance can be found here:

http://headfirstperformance.com/?bwg_gallery=19-louisville-lovin-the-hills


Congrats & Thanks to all!  Thanks also to the Headfirst Performance crew & all the volunteers.  Special Thanks to Cynthia Heady!


LLTH 2020:

There seems to be an increasing negative sentiment about LLTH with the management at the Jefferson Memorial Forest. This includes both the use of the trails and the Horine Center.   Don't know if it's because of new hires, new policy or the public, but I'm hoping this issue is resolved as planning for 2020 will not be able to start.





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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Feb-6-2019 LLTH last minute notes

 Online registration thru Ultrasignup ends tonight.

There are 2 locations in Louisville with early packet pickup & registration on Friday, February 8:   KEN COMBS RUNNING STORE at 4137 Shelbyville Road from 11 am to 2 pm EST and at QUEST OUTDOORS at 4600 Shelbyville Road in the Shelbyville Road Plaza from 4 to 7 pm EST.  QUEST OUTDOORS will be having their FREE pre-race pasta dinner again this year at their store location from 5 to 7 pm EST -- everyone is welcome.

You can also register or pick up your race packet at the Horine Center at the Start/Finish area on race morning around 7 am EST.  It's recommended to pick up your packet on Friday to avoid the rush & lines on race day.

Flagging will be light orange 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. 200 to 300 feet along the entire course.

It's been raining most of the day here with 60+ degree temps.  More rain is predicted thru tomorrow (Thursday):  FORECAST   Lots of water & several real muddy spots on the trails, but with a "flash freeze" predicted Friday, the concern will be ICE and slick spots on race day.  Most of the trails will be "crunchy".  Past experience on these trails has shown ICE can be a problem as sometimes water drains or seeps from the side of a hill down onto a trail & freezes solid.  Hopefully it won't Saturday, but BE WARY, especially on narrow downhill trails.

The courses are the same as last year with very minor changes due to damage from the major ice storm last November.


NOTE:

Some low-cost gloves (& hand warmers) have been donated to Headfirst Performance — you’ll find them in your race packet. These HI-VIS gloves can be handy when hunters are around.  Guys - Lg, Gals - M, both fit on the small side.



Keep Warm, Have Fun & Good Luck!




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