I decided to run Promise Land when a friend of mine decided to do the Beast Series. Boy am I glad I did! This was my 14th ultra and my new favorite. I don't ever remeber running a course that had so much scenery and so little flat running terrain!
We got to the Promise Land camp @ 5:00 on Friday, more than enough time to pick up our numbers and shirts. By then it was time for the pizza dinner. After that there were door prizes and a huge bonfire as well as Dr. Horton answering any questions the runners might have. I knew 4:00 am would come early so I headed for the tent.
The race starts with a 4 mile 2300 ft climb, so I started out easy. After 10 miles I had already climbed 4000 ft of elevation, the same amount in the Mount Mitchell challenge only in half the distance! After this point there is about 5 miles of serious quad busting technical downhill. I was doing pretty well so far. After the aid station before Apple Orchard Falls I was at 5:00 hrs, still on pace to break 7 hours. Toward the top the falls it started to hail and sleet followed by some serious thunderstorms! I have never been colder in a race, and it happened at the worst possible time, when I was moving the slowest. I realized the only way to get warm was to start running again and the last 5 miles are all downhill. I finished fairly strong @ 6:57 to be greeted with a handshake by a rain soaked Dr. Horton @ the finish! I loved the Patagonia shorts!
Thanks for putting on a great race! The volunteers at the aid stations and finish line were awesome! I will be back!