Monday, September 2, 2013


                           Iron Mountain Trail Race

I would like to thank all of the TrailHead Family for there unwavering support. All of the advice paid off. The attention to details is what makes a great race. Special props to E.T. and Gyro for strengthening the rest of my body to handle the stress, this truly made the event controllable.

Elevation profile by Wisp (Rachael Bell Kelly)  
 This tattoo was more helpful than I had intended. I could look over and justify time, pace and effort in an instant. It slowly wore off from elbow to wrist, just like the race.

A well matched group of TrailHeads
The race started right on time 7a. 5 miles of creeper trail stretched the field out before the first mountain climb began. 5 mile 44:09. My goal was to make AS 16 mile near 10a. Ran, walked and stopped twice to adjust left shoe. Made AS 16, 3:04. Refilled bladder adjusted shoe and resupplied from drop bag 3:08.

 Continued pacing well finishing to AS 22 holding a 11:45 ish pace over all. This was a 7 mile section with a lot of runnable fire road. Left AS 22 for another 7 mile AS gap. Stood in a river for about a minute. The swelling in my feet lessened. What a relief.  Dropped my bandana on a short technical section of trail, Sad. Began to hear claps of thunder from the Damascus side of the ridge.

 Made it to AS 29 5:51. Popsicle and some candy. The next 3 miles where up a muddy ascent to AS 32. I gave myself a goal of 1 hr, walked the entire section. I found a bandana and used it to dip in the multiple creek crossings to cool down. The mud was more than ankle deep for a good 1.5 miles along the creek bank. I was with 3 other runners on this climb. We enjoyed the cool breeze coming down the ridge line  from the rain on the other side of the mountain. The temp must have dropped 10 drg. Made AS32 in 51mins.

Left AS 32 headed up again. You have to go up to fulfill the 8000 ft of elevation on the course. Took my left shoe off looking for a rock, toenail hanging on just flopping around. my hip cramped up while attempting to put my shoe on. it took a long time to put the shoe on. UGH. Caught up to a runner, Lisa, who I followed down a technical descent in the pouring rain. We were both glad to have company as it took your mind off pain.

I had a goal to reach AS 37 felling good. I did that. I had done that well. A runner came in with my bandana on his pack, sweet. Changed shoes, removed toenail threw over shoulder, Hoppa!, reloaded pack from drop bag and off to finish.

Baby food squeeze packs keep you going. Run anytime you can, run anytime you can, run anytime you can. Guess what I did.

The ridge line was a stirred up mess from all the racers and rain. Mud was flying as I made forward progress. I made AS 43 1n 9:43, a full half hour before the cutt-off. The staff asked if I had thrown up yet. No. Well you wouldn't be the first so don't fell bad if you do. Okay. Filled bladder with Gatorade,  grabbed bananas, watermelon. Left Lisa's handheld she had dropped.

Every step since mile 33 has been a personal best. every second beyond 6:38 hrs is new territory. This is the point of the event where all of the collected knowledge I am surrounded by gives you piece of mind. I could hear every TrailHead in those woods, encouraging me. As I stared the final 2 mile highly technical decent, "Focus...Focus...Focus" was my mantra. Knowing the finish was at the bottom I only needed to focus here and right now. Pavement.

Waiting to cross a road for traffic at 49.6 miles felt silly.

Only time I 'hit' the ground (photo Anthony Corriveau)
11:24. 50 miles. Thank you to a well staffed group of race volunteers. Thanks to everyone who made this crazy quest a realty. Enjoyed the weekend hanging out with Shannon, Anthony, Jay, Brandy, Jeff and of course the most caring of all Jen.

Stayed up with sweat-chills all night. Lost just over 4 lbs.

Run Smooth, Galoot


  1. Threw away your toe nail?! Dude, you should have kept that thing for your necklace!

    Seriously though, big respect from this mere 40 miler. Helluva way to go beyond the 50K mileage. Iron Mountain is a seriously badass race and you conquered it! Well done my friend!

  2. What an adventure! I am very jealous, and feel the need to experience all of that (except maybe the lost toe nail).
    So happy that all that preparation paid off.
    And thanks for the hash browns! We should have made eggs in the morning, but we didn't expect everyone to be up so early.
    Recover well.

  3. congrats man! So glad this went well for you and was such a tremendous, rewarding experience.

  4. Lost over 4 pounds in 50 miles, that means you lost nothing. that means you nailed hydration and stayed safe. 4 pounds divided by Galoot starting body weight equals likely safe small percentage. CONGRATULATIONS!

  5. Thanks for writing. I am doing the 50 miler this year, which will also be my 1st. Ran the 30 there last year. Great job gutting it out, and capturing the experience in words. Helps to at least gain a little knowledge about what lies ahead on the trails.