HS40 – Heather Griffith

God, this race was so awesome! I just cannot say enough about it. First off, the mountains are the most beautiful place I’ve ever ran in my life and I can’t wait to run the Rattlesnake 50K and other races in WV and VA, and also to come back again next year for this race!

The lodge couldn’t have been any more perfect a place to stay for this race and it was just so
wonderful to be able to relax soon after finishing! My legs were beat up, but my ankles may have been worse. I woke at 10:40 p.m., after easily getting to sleep at 8:00 p.m., to find just how sore I was and to “try” to walk to the bathroom. I was basically holding onto objects to be able to walk right then. I lie back down thinking, “God, it would be nice if I could go back to sleep soon. There’s no way I’ll get back to Louisville on this kind of sleep and then be able to work!” So it only took me MAYBE 20 minutes to doze off again! I ended up sleeping 10 1/2 hrs, but good thing cuz then I had to stay up for nearly 24 hrs (once I got back to Louisville, had to work til 5:30 a.m.)!

On the race…it started out quite flat actually and I thought, “This race was supposed to be tough!” Oh but then, one HUGE climb and the decent after being brutal, then the rest of the run was just plain brutal! I might have mentioned to you already that is why I chose the course…the difficulty of it was supposed to be high level! And it was…really terrible! I seek out these types of races though, and go from one great challenge to an even greater one. I have 6 more races I will complete this year, all ultras. I will run 2 50-milers 2 weeks apart in September, which will be really tough for me. Then my longest race yet will be the Hellgate 100K in December…yes, I do plan on running it even though it’s supposed to be cold weather…one thing I really don’t like but makes the race even tougher!

I do have to mention I could not have gotten through the last 14 miles so smoothly without my new friend Ron Bierman. He was just amazing the way he stayed w/me the rest of the way and we had some great conversations out there, even stopped for a view of the beautiful scenery a few times, to distract from the incredible pain I’m sure we were both feeling! We were even able to help each other stay on the course, and not wonder off somewhere else that looked like a better path! He’s the only reason I didn’t fall in between those boulders! I mean, it’s my first time ever crossing boulders and it was a scary experience! So we ended up crossing some of them together, which brought my HR from maybe 120 down to 90!

Anyhow, I could have definitely stayed at Canaan Valley longer, and look forward to coming back and putting my body through this pure torture next June!
Happy Running.