This year's trip to Charleston, West (by GOD) Virginia to run the Rattlesnake Trail turned into a really great escape. I talked Jeff
McGonnell and John Teague into give the Grandfather Marathon a miss and head up I-77 with me for a serious trail run. It had
been 2 years since I ran the Rattle-Tick, and Dennis had a few surprises in store for us. He has added a 10th climb to the
course and it is truly massive now.
There was a BMW motorcycle rally going in Charleston this weekend, and those inconsiderate 7,000+ BMW riders on their
crotch rockets had filled every motel in the valley. As a backup, I packed my truck tent and decided to camp out in the S/F line in
the Kanawa State Forest Park. There was a catered pre-race dinner at the S/F line which ended early. After the other runners
dispersed, Dennis and I pulled out our coolers and started to get prep'ed for tomorrow's race. Rob Apple was next to drive in
and add another cooler to the party. Tom Possart rode in on a real motorcycle, his new Centennial Harley, pulled a 6-pack out
of his saddlebags and asked for an opener. The last of the really serious runners had arrived, and we spent the rest of the
evening drinking beer and telling stories. Jeff and John didn't arrive before the park gates closes @ 2200 Hrs, and they camped
outside the park. They missed a good meeting of the Kanawa Forest Pistol Club. (Drink to midnight ... Piss till dawn)
There were 90+ starters who answered the call @ 0630. I had a good start and was ~20th to the top of the 1st ridge. I give up a
lot of foot speed on the downhills. About 40 runners blew past me on the 1st downhill including Jeff and John. From that point
in the race they were marked targets. As the race continued a familiar RT rhythm developed. I would pick off 5-6 runners on the
climbs, and 2-3 runners would re-pass me on the downhills. I caught John on the long climb out of Aid Station 4 and we talked
a bit before I put him in my rear view mirror. Jeff was harder to catch. I finally caught him of the steep climb out of Aid Station 8.
He was fighting leg cramps, but he was determined to win that battle. I gave Jeff the AMF wave atop the 9th ridge and moved on.
Considering the previous evening's hydration preparation party and the new 10th climb, I was happy with my 06:34 finish. Jeff
was really charged up about his ~06:50 finish. Jeff really liked the course and will return. I did not get a chance to talk to John. I
left before he finished to escape the industrial strength thunderstorms that were bearing down on us, but I'm fairly confident
that I won't be getting a Christmas card from John again this year. At least he had a good training run for the Big Butt.
PS ... Possart had an amazing day considering the previous evening's hydration preparation party . He won the RT.
ONE OF THE BIKER CHICKS AT
ONE OF THE RATTLESNAKE AID
STATIONS. NOTICE THAT THE
CUTIE IS FLASHING HER TITS
TO THE OTHER AID STATION
WORKERS AND SPECTATORS.