Horror Hill was last Saturday, Oct 30th at Camp Heidleberg, just NE of Waterloo. It's a 6hr trail race around a 2.5km loop. Only 47 runners, but there's always people around with such a small loop. A few short steep hills and lots of twists and turns. You get to pass by your drop bag with any change of clothing or food every lap, which was convenient. Actually, I barely went to my bag so I guess it didn't really matter. I wasn't sure how my shin would hold up, so I didn't want to go too hard, plus I knew I was supposed to do another 40km the next morning, but once the race starts it's kind of hard to hold back.
I just kept a steady pace, after an hour I was still within 100 metres or so of the leaders. At this point most people were just cruising along, the people who wanted to push it would do so soon. At this point my shin was a little sore, but not much. It was nice chatting with familiar faces. I ran for awhile with Paul, who blew past me at the last race, Vulture Bait. I ran for a bit with Charlotte, she's done HURT 4 times so got some good tips from her. She's been having back problems and was taking it easy. One guy got hauled off in an ambulance, but he was ok. He was having chest pain then when he sat down had some numbness in his arm, the didn't take any chances and called it in.
I continued to keep a steady pace most of the race, my shin hurt more and more after a few hours. I had brought single pouches of Eload to drink, but I had to stop at my bag and get a pouch, then get my bottle filled with water then pour in and mix. Screw that, I did it once then it was too much of a hassle to do again. I was thinking of doing this at HURT, I may have to rethink my hydration strategy. For today, I just stuck to water. It wasn't hot so I wasn't sweating too much, plus I really wasn't going that hard so I was ok without the extra electrolytes. Jen had told me to have a gel every 40 minutes, but I lost track after the first 2. So much for that. I just had one every hour or so, along with a salt pill every hour.
For the first 3 hrs or so I stopped at the aid station every lap to grab bananas, pretzels, apples and oranges, but eventually I was eating too much so I started to skip it. We kept passing by a BBQ that was cooking food for later, that was making me hungry for some real food though.
After 5hrs or so my shin was in a lot of pain. Now I'm just waiting for the race to end so I can ice my shin and eat some lunch! After lap 23, it looked like I might have enough time to get 1 more lap in if I hurried (current time is 5h 45min 25sec). I turned it on and did a light sprint for the final 2.5k, going faster than I'd gone all day. I also noticed that while I did this, I couldn't feel my shin pain anymore, maybe it was the adrenalin. The last lap was fun, everyone saw me booting it and was cheering me on as I passed. My 24th lap turned out to be my fastest lap of the day (11min 56 sec). When I passed the start/finish, I had more time left than I'd expected so I kept going and got in an extra 500 metres, finished with 60.5km. After 5.5hrs, they hand you a flag with your number on it, so at 6hrs when a horn blows you stop and stab your flag in the ground where you are, then they measure that and add it to you lap total.
If my shin was feeling better I would have pushed it harder. If I can run my fastest lap at the 5h45min mark, then I haven't exactly paced myself properly....again. Had a great time though. I finished 10th overall, 1st for males under 40 (out of a whopping 9 guys), so won a $25 gift certificate. The post race meal was great, I had a burger and some lasagna, that really hit the spot. Got to chat with lots of people, some know I'm doing HURT and were asking how the training is going. Got some more info out of Charlotte, I also met another guy there who got into HURT through the lottery. Like me, he's never done a 100 miler, but he only plans to to do 100k any HURT. I think the only way you should do 100k is if you go for 100 miles and don't make it, but he seems content with setting his sights on 100k (am I crazy or is he? I don't know). I also got a free massage, the girl doing it told me my calves are extremely tight and I should think about seeing a specialist. That was great though, I wasn't sore at all the next few days (not including the shin), I think the massage really helped.
All in all a fun race. I actually like the little 2.5km course, will probably be back next year.