Laurel Highlands: The Big Warmup

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June 12th:

Tomorrow marks an event that will measure where I am in the 100 mile quest. This will make or break my efforts to meet my goals, a very sobering thought that is creating endless waves of nervousness through my body right now. Am I ready? Have I prepared enough on tough terrain and endless hills? Will the heat and humidity be too much? Will those vague twinges of soreness and pain that we all constantly feel, but which my mind has singularly focused upon lately, lead to anything real? We are about to find out!

The Challenge: The 36th Annual Laurel Highlands Ultramarathon

The Location: The Laurel Highlands, of course…stunningly gorgeous setting in the western PA Allegheny mountains

The Date: Saturday, June 13th, 5:30 AM

The Distance: 70.5 miles

The Course: All trail, rocky and hilly to begin, meandering and undulating throughout

The Terrain: 12,000 feet of elevation gain

The Weather: Warm (70-80°) with fairly high humidity, and a fair chance of thunderstorms throughout the day

The Setup: Up at 2:30 for a loooong bus ride from the finish to the start

The Crowd: Over 200 for the full race and many more for the 50K and relays, great to see some old PA friends at the dinner and more tomorrow!

The Mental State: Not so good right now, need to get my game face going

Driving up to check out the finish tonight, there was a thunderstorm rushing through the 2000 foot gap in the ridge where we will be finishing…an awesome sight that this picture doesn’t convey nearly well enough. This is truly stunning country.

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