Once again Hellgate lived up to my expectations and kicked my butt.  The return to Hellgate put an exclamation point on recovery from the 2009 repair of my peroneal tendon. 

"What a beautiful night" I said to Jeffrey Garstecki as we climbed toward
Petites Gap.  This started a great conversation and now a new ultra running friend.  The night only continued to get better as I felt everything coming together through Camping Gap.  At one point I just stopped, took in the silence and solitude while catching glimpses of headlamps on the mountain side above.  I continued on and was excited for Headforemost Mountain where my awesome sister and brother-in-law were waiting. 

Everything was still coming together as I cruised through Jennings Creek.  Approaching
Little Cove Mountain I decided to pick up my pace.  At Little Cove Mountain I was 35 minutes ahead of my 2008 time running and feeling great.  This feeling continued to Bearwallow Gap where Adam Casseday of (WVMTR) offered me a word of caution about calculating finishing times in my head, I should have listened. 

I began to fade few miles before Bobblets Gap where Jack Kurisky caught me, offered encouragement and friendly conversation.  Thank you Jack as that your words helped me through to Day Creek.  Spending a few minutes there with my family, while mentally preparing myself for the push to the finish proved a wise decision.  Leaving Day Creek, Helen Lavin and I struck up a conversation which made the climb to Blackhorse Gap dare I say fun.  By this point my quads were no longer cooperating and were beginning to win the quiet battle that had been brewing.  While the last downhill was ugly,  I finished 9 minutes ahead my 2008 time.

Humbled once again, Hellgate 2010 was an audacious adventure with outstanding family and friends. 

Thank you David and the volunteers for a hosting a great Hellgate 2010. 

David, good luck with surgery.

Todd Bumgardner, Bib #34