Hiking 5:54:00  15.9 mi (22:16 / mi) +4000ft 17:59 / mi
Green Monster 25K Trail Challenge
I was not in great shape for this event but I had already signed up and decided to do it anyway. The morning of the event I considered picking up my swag bag and leaving but I decided to stick around and take part in the race.
I was running late so I didn't have time to stretch before the race. My left leg had been sore earlier in the week but by Saturday morning it was feeling better, although I had my doubts as to whether I was really physically ready for this event.
I drove up to Wellsboro on Saturday, the day before the race. On Saturday night my lower back on the left side was a little sore, probably from driving for 5 hours. It wasn't much better in the morning.
I started the race at the back of the pack. I didn't pass anyone until the 1,000 foot climb up Deer Trail, the first steep climb of the course. Most of the people who I passed on that climb later passed me between there and the first aid station.
After the first aid station there was a steady but not too steep climb until I reached Slippery Bark Trail, which was much steeper and more slippery than Deer Trail but not as long a climb, just 550 feet. Along that stretch I think I passed everyone who had passed me between the top of the Deer Trail and the first aid station. They seemed to be much more winded that I was on that climb and kept stopping where I just kept steadily climbing at a slow pace until I reached the top.
After passing a couple more people at the top I followed another runner until we reached the second aid station at roughly the halfway point of the course, 7.8 miles. She hung out at the aid station for a little longer than I did. I managed to stay ahead of her all the way to the third aid station at the 10.4 mile mark. She arrived a couple minutes after me. I didn't see her again until the 4th and final aid station. She arrived there just as I was getting ready to leave.
In between the 2nd and 3rd aid stations was the final really steep climb of the course, 700 ft up Stinger Trail. There was some climb to the 4th and final aid station but nothing compared to the steep climbs of the course. Still, I was really starting to feel worn out so it was still a struggle just not as much as on the steeper trails.
After the 4th aid station it was all downhill, which included a very steep descent down a hill called Frankenstein's Forehead. My knees were not in great shape. I paused a couple times to stretch for a few seconds on way down this part of the course. I descended sideways as much as could, alternating sides every few steps. I passed one person in this section of the course who was having more trouble than I with the steep drop in elevation.
After Frankenstein's Forehead I spotted someone on the trail ahead of me, but as I got closer I realized it wasn't a someone but a something: a bear. I made some noise by kicking some loose rocks on the trail. The bear had not seen me but moved along off the trail and I continued to descend. Once I got to the bottom of the hill the rest of the course was relatively flat. I hiked all the way to the finish line.
I would have liked to have shuffled/ran down some of the hills, but my legs and back just weren't having it. I'm sure my time would have been better if I had. This was my slowest time for a 25K race to date. Maybe I could have pushed myself harder but I wanted to finish the race.
After getting a bite to eat at the finish line, chili and a hot dog, I headed back to my car. After changing and resting for a few minutes I started the long drive home. I left the race site at 4 and got home around 9:45. I had to stop once to get gas and stopped a couple more times to stetch my legs. The only heavy traffic I encountered was on the inner loop of the beltway where two lanes were closed for roadwork.
The field of participants was much smaller (about 300) than for the Hyner (about 1000). I went for long stretches, especially after the 2nd aid station, without seeing anyone, whether they were passing me or I was passing them. It is safe to say that there were more volunteers manning any single aid station (usually 3-5 people) than I saw on the course after the 2nd aid station, which I think was just the two people I mentioned above.
This was my first Green Monster Trail Challenge. I would like to try it again when I am in better shape and see if I can do significantly better. This race compares quite favorably to the Hyner View Trail Challenge and definitely ranks ahead of the other trail races I have done in terms of level of difficulty.