Yet another painful Uwharrie finish. Isn't is strange how quickly you can remember all the bad parts you forgot since last year's
race. It is still "ape ugly and bloody awful" and definitely "Hard to the Finish".
When you say "double points race", the RFH turns out like a pack of wolves ready for the hunt. By my count, we made up ~ 15%
(14 out of ~ 100) in the 40 mile race ... Alex Morton, Andy Wright, Buddy Nash, Byron Backer, Robert Calabria, Robert Crosby, Jeff
McGonnel, Jim Snyder, John Teague, Phil Webster, Sam the Puke, Wes Martin, Will Brown, and myself. When you add Brian
Kistner, Dennis Herr, Konrad Gannon, Mike Fiorito, and a few others, we represented > 20 % of the field.
It was a cool but comfortable day for the race. I did my best to ignore the 1st part, the middle part, and the last part, but nothing
seemed to work. There were over 300+ runners spread across the 3 races. I was running with Andy and Wes when we met
Byron and Mike Morton at 15 miles, on their return, running shoulder-to-shoulder. That was an impressive sight. They were
focused, intense, and smoking. Erik Clifton was lost in their dust 1/2 mile behind in 3rd, and Brian Kistner was further back in
6th or 7th. We met Buddy and Phil at ~18 miles and started to see familiar smiling faces again on the return. The return is
always bloody awful because you are alone chasing shadows, doubts, and time. I had Andy and Wes in my rear view mirror. You
can hear Andy's voice 1/4 miles in the woods. Whenever I would hear him, I knew I was slacking off and I would pick up the
pace. I caught up with Jim at 35 miles. He had taken a big crash on the first half and was struggling to finish. We teamed up to
claw our way out of the woods to the finish just before total darkness. Andy and Wes came crashing through the thickets about 5
minutes later. When I left Alex, Calabria, Joe, and Will were still out on the course somewhere.
The race management baton has been passed, and it appears that Bob Boeder's event will continue long into the future. A
women's running club (?) from Raleigh have taken over from Bob, and they displayed remarkable management skills in putting
on such a "high risk" event ( 40M, 20M and 8M races) without incident. They really gained my respect and admiration for their
organization and effort.
The new Uwharrie definitely had a feminine touch to it. As a matter of fact, it was like "Martha Stewart does an ultra". In addition to
having lots of g-o-o-d l-o-o-k-i-n-g women at the aid stations, they had these little place cards on the tables identifying all the aid
items offered. Have never before seen aid stations with table cloths before? Better yet, they served beer at the pasta dinner on
Friday. They also gave us our pre-race packets at the dinner which totally eliminated Boeder's familiar '#s pickup on race day
only in total darkness' goat rope.
I pondered the all changes to the Uwharrie Trail 40 Mile Run that I had witnessed today as I headed North on NC 109 last night
sipping a Miller Lite. I was so impressed that I asked myself the question; "What made the difference in this year's race?" Was it
GREAT Legs! or Nice ASS!
In the end with a 11:13 finish, my worst MMTR times are still better than my best Uwharrie times. Today, Andy finished his 11th
Uwharrie, I finished my 8th, and Jim stopped counting a long time ago. Between all the RFH regulars we must have over 100+
finishes in that race. That just proves what a group of slow learners we really are.
PS ... I do not think the ladies really warmed up to my suggestion for "porn videos" at the aid stations for next year's race, but I am
sure that Bob would have liked that idea.