Lake McMurtry lies near my Alma Mater so I had been here running before I even had a love for trails. We rarely ran on the trails there. You had to be careful at McMurtry because if not, you were sure to roll an ankle or two and end up with ice packs nursing a fat ankle. Running the first few miles I was already running timid, afraid of McMurtry's infamous roots, rocky trails, and branches (one in particular I will call Tyson because it cracked me pretty hard)!
of the Leap with dimensions that would be suicide. I thought maybe you had to climb down a small cliff and run over to the next side or something. When I saw the "Leap o' Doom" I was quite relieved as it was merely a hop and a skip across two rocks. If you somehow were fatigued and missed the other rock, OUCH. The length of the Leap may be exaggerated, but the drop between the two rocks was SERIOUS. After you finish the first loop (Orange) you cross the starting area and head into the second loop. At this point I was not sure if I still had the record due to the mile markers starting over from zero once you cross into the blue line trails.
The blue trails were a bit tougher. I noticed my pace was slightly dwindling by about 3-4 seconds per .25 mile. The blue trails had an abundance of tight turns and also alot more traffic. Back and quad muscles were really starting to burn since it had been a while since the body has felt a 90 degree turn in mud. The red mud was really starting to tire the calves out. All in all, the course was pretty sweet. It had everything. There were some single track, some trails that reminded me of cross country, steep hills, tight turns, mud!, and a fair amount of roots and branches to twist your ankles like a braid. One branch and I became well acquainted (AKA Tyson) at one point during the race and I now leave the course with a little reminder on my shoulder of the crazy challenges one must endure on the trails of Lake McMurtry.
I was happy to see alot of folks sporting Inov-8 shoes. Before the race I noticed one guy wearing the Roclite 295 and he made me think about the thick mud engulfing parts of the trail and how a pair of 295's would have really stuck to the course. However, I found that the F-lite's ended up performing quite well. Due to its light weight, all of the climbs felt like a walk in the park and on the sections through open fields I was able to fly. The race directors did a really good job organizing the course and the finish was pretty interesting. The last 50 meters you round the finish area where your nostrils take in the sweet taste of burgers, hot dogs and all of the snacks that await at the finish.
End Result: 1st, New Course Record: 1:31:52