Mountain Run. One and done..?

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?

Bristol Mountain from the parking lot.

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.

Start line. Notice everyone staring in fear at the mountain on the right.

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.

Wheeee! A downhill…shit, moguls! Notice how radically the trail width changes from the ridge line. That’s ’cause the trail drops down a friggin’ ski slope.

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.

The worst hill, looking back.
The worst hill, looking up. Sorry you’re looking at that guy’s rear. I was too tired to care. My heart was coming out my ears.

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.




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