Yesterday I ran the Battle at Bristol Mountain at ski resort (Bristol Mountain, unsurprisingly) near Rochester. Initially a friend and I had thought to run the half marathon distance but after doing less than 5 miles a few weeks before the event, we said, “Fuck that!” and dropped to the 10K. Did I mention the race is at a ski resort?
So it’s a tad hilly: the elevation change for the 10K was 2,247 feet. That is 1000 feet more than the height on the Empire State building.
The race started on a path the race crew affectionately referred to as the “Gravel Grinder”. It started going up…and continued to do so for over a mile. The “run” quickly became a “hike” and then degenerated to a “slog”. It was also raining, which sounds awful but actually kept us a cool. Standards of comfort change radically during a trail race.
Once we hit the downhills, though, the race redeemed itself. We were shooting down a ski slope, after all, hopping moguls and covering the half the distance of the hill we had just climbed in a fraction of the time.
Of course, all good things (downhills) must end (in uphills). Did I mention over 2000 feet in climb? That hurt.
After the final hill just before the 5 mile mark (that’s just over 8 kilometers of the 10K distance) we reached the top of Bristol Mountain. The final hill rose just over 650 feet in three quarters of a mile. Some friends had driven up to the top (that would piss me off later) to cheer us on. I had some Coke and we pushed down the mountain.
The final mile and a half was a smooth track over nordic skiing paths and then a straight shot down (and I mean down) the main ski slope.
At the bottom, we discussed whether or not this race was a “one and done”. Never gonna happen again, in other words. The race was absolutely grueling, emotionally and physically. In the moment I agreed but…I did like the t-shirt design. And really, that’s what this is all about.