Woefully undertrained, I was anxious all week about this race. The course profile and race times from the previous year left no doubt in my mind about the difficulty of this trail. It was a chilly (~40F) and breezy at start time (0630), and I was ready to get moving. The first two miles were slightly downhill on the pavement, and this contributed to relatively quick start and spaced everyone out nicely prior to turning onto the trail. I remember thinking (correctly) that this would be painful on the way back. Initially the trail had a gentle descent to a creek crossing (think mid-thigh, about the temperature you would expect for a mountain stream in April) at mile 3.25, then the uphill started.
I was initially stuck behind a dude that had doused himself with some sort of body spray that morning. I passed him on the seemingly endless uphill section. Five miles into the race and still climbing, I was very happy about my decision to do the 25K instead of the 50K. The trail was steep enough and/or technical enough with rocks that there was a lot of walking involved. The last 1.5 miles to the turn around were relatively less rocky, steady descent. Meaning they were a steady ascent on the way out, ugh. My legs were so hammered by the uphills that the downhills became equally painful. After nearly falling 5 or 6 times at about mile 10-11 the race became about staying upright. I was never so happy to see pavement for the last two miles even though it was all uphill. My estimate for my finish time was off by nearly an hour. I wound up 27th overall (out of 72) and 7th overall woman. More importantly, my "old enough to be your mother number"--the number of people I beat assuming I had been 18 when they were born, was 7, and no woman >46 years old finished ahead of me. A huge thanks to Maddy for accompanying me to the race and waiting in the cold for me to finish. Kudos to Bad to the Bone for putting on such a great race.