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Race Result

Racer: Aaron Schwartzbard
Race: Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Trail Run
Date: Saturday, February 2, 2008
Location: Huntsville, TX
Race Type: Run - 100 Mile
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 15:20:53
Overall Place: 2 / 252

Race Report:

I decided to do Rocky Raccoon because I wanted to try a course that was more runnable than all the mountain trail races that seem to be the norm. I have to admit that I was surprised in several ways (all good) by the race.

First of all, it is an extremely "user-friendly" race. I was able to fly into Houston on Friday with a single carry-on bag containing everything I needed for the weekend, race on Saturday, and fly home on Sunday. The race site is an easy hour's drive north of Houston, and there are many hotels within 10 minutes of the race site. The course is 5 x 20 mile loops, so I only needed one drop bag. (There is the option to have a second drop bag on the course that you'll pass at 7 miles, and then again at 13 miles into each loop.) In a wet year, I can see that the course could be a mud bath, but this year, everything was dry.

I started the race with the expectation that it was an "easy" 100 miler. But now, I have to change that to call it an "accessible" 100 miler. The trails are non-technical, and entirely runnable. while there are inclines and declines on the course, there is nothing I would really call a hill. So Rocky doesn't have the sorts of barriers to completion that something like MMT has. Thus, it's accessible to people who might not be inclined to try a technical or mountain race. But the other side of that coin is that if it's runnable, you might end up running more. I ended up not doing any walking in the first 60 miles. In the last 40, I occasionally slowed to a walk only for as long as it took to get a squirt from a water bottle. So I'd guess that I ran > 99.5 of the 100 miles. By the end, I was toast. Once I stopped, my blood pressure dropped through the floor, and I spent two hours in the med tent waiting for the world to stop spinning. Further, I don't think I felt nearly as beat up after 25-28 hour finishes at MMT or Bighorn as I do after a 15 hour finish at Rocky.

Two days after Bighorn this summer, I was hiking in the mountains outside of Lander, WY. Five days after Bighorn, I went on a 17 mile hike with some Park Ranger friends to a mountain lake at 9,000 feet in Targhee National Forest. I'm hoping that five days after Rocky, I'll be able to ascend and descend a staircase without gripping the railing.

I had thought that Rocky Raccoon would be a one-time race for me. But the logistics are so easy, and the race is so well run that it is certainly one that I would consider doing again.