My Most Challenging Race To Date

“I Conquered it!” are the words printed on my medal from the Jay Peak trail race, these words are very appropriate for this race because anyone who completes it has surely conquered it. It is a very challenging race for anyone and considered one of the hardest in the country. 5,260 feet of elevation gain, in 25k and the extremely technical nature of the trail, made this race the most challenging I have ever done. I am absolutely thrilled I was able to do it! The course was made even more difficult because it was very wet. About 80% or more wet surfaces, consisting of lots of mud, wet tall grass, wet hay, wet rock slabs, wet moss covered rocks with water flowing over them on steep uphills as the only means of moving forward due to thick woods surrounding you, numerous stream crossings, and some rock climbing on some of the very steep single track covered in tall wet vegetation. It was so bad at one point I needed to lift my leg up near my shoulder height and grab a hold of whatever I could and hoist myself up on each rock as I climbed that stretch of single track. Every hill was a very steep uphill and downhill and being a mostly wet course, you really needed to be extra careful not to fall, in fact, the race director stressed it to us the night before in the meeting saying that many people have gotten hurt because it is so slippery and steep and that last year a very experienced runner broke his femur. The hills were so steep that you knew if you fell, you would likely keep falling. The race was on a mountain at a famous ski resort in Vermont and many of the trails were on the black diamond trails for skiing, which means it was on the hardest level of ski ability trails. It is one thing to go down a mountain, sliding, on skis, but it is whole other thing to go down it on wet surfaces, not snow covered, not on skis, but on your own two legs with no special equipment. I am thrilled I did this race. It is such a very powerful feeling to do something so very challenging. As I crossed the finish line, the race director and other people cheered me on loudly with great big smiles across their faces, calling my name out, shouting congratulations, something that many times does not happen in larger races. I felt so very proud, accomplished, powerful, and very emotional beyond words. It was the very best feeling that I will never forget. Life is meant to be lived, Make sure you fill your life with experiences and adventures and to live beyond your comfort zone because those are the memories that help make you feel fit forever. At the finish, I was absolutely on top of the world, and still am today, months later. I did this race last year on Labor Day weekend and it is now March, I love to think back to this race for many reasons.  It is not only a great memory, but a great way to keep going, push myself, in training and in all areas of my life, because this race certainly proved that even in the most difficult situations, I have the power inside of me to do it. I don’t think this feeling will ever leave me, the feeling that I conquered this huge challenging race. I did it. I feel amazing.

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