Terrapin Mountain 50K is the second trail ultra of 4 that have to be completed for the Lynchburg Ultra Series. It is billed as a tough race with lots of climbing and it was definitely that. I had set my goal at under 8 hours, due to the fact that it took me 6.5 hours to do Holiday Lake…and I figured it would take me at least an hour more with all the climbing on this race. It also was a mile or so longer.
I went by the Aid Station store 2 days before the race and picked up my packet. They give out mugs for the race. I have always wanted one, so I was excited to get it. I was not disappointed! It is a great looking mug. Love it!
We left Roanoke that morning at 4:45, so that we could make the hour drive and get there well before 6:30. We had to check in before 6:30. Terrapin also offers a half marathon. Eddie Mann (did the half marathon) and Caleb Johnson rode to the race with me. Other friends there were as follows: Gina Gilbert (there for support, as she is injured), Josh Gilbert, David Landes, Dru Sexton, James Decker, Matt Prescott, John Robinson, and Jeff Jennings (half).
Huge shout out to Gina Gilbert. She was there before 6:30 also. She waited over 7.5 hours for all of our friends to cross the finish line and she got pictures of everyone crossing.
The race started at 7. The weather was supposed to be nice, so I only had 2 shirt layers on and shorts. The beginning is road and gravel, but it was pretty scenic. There was a rocky creek and several rustic log cabins on farms.
The following picture is of Terrapin Mountain. It is pretty intimidating to see that at the beginning of a 31.5 mile race, knowing that you will have to go over it!
We soon hit single track that was a pretty steep climb for roughly 3 miles. The first aid station was at the top, which was mile 4. From there we were on another gravel road, going down hill for around 5 miles. Those 5 miles were the only easy part of the race. The rest of the race was very hard.
It seemed like it was climbing ALL DAY LONG..I got to a part in which the lead runners were running opposite me, as they had already done a loop to the top. They were running pretty fast downhill, while I was running slow up hill!. It took forever, but I finally made my way around the loop and by the summit. I finally got to run down that fireroad! At the end of that fire road was an aid station that I had went through earlier. This was mile 22.
See mile 22 on the elevation profile below? The last sharp top on the right…that was it. Toughest section of the race.
Once I went past the aid station, the course was single track again. Now it was a grueling, very steep climb. I was extremely slow on that part. I got to the top and there were some nice views up there.
There were 3 parts of the race that you had to do an out and back or loop, so when you got to a certain point, you had to punch your bib. The top was one of the punch points. From there we went on towards “fat mans squeeze”. Fat mans squeeze is something I had always heard about and was excited to see. All of the following pictures are different views of the same rock formation.
I got through the squeeze and soon came up on a short but rough section of rocks. It was football size rocks on top of rocks It was really hard to walk safely over them. The rest of the way was nice single track trail.
Waterfall within the last 1o miles
Water crossing within last few miles. It felt great on tired feet!
There no big climbs, but my endurance was low. I walked the uphills and jogged the downhills. I finally came out on the road, then on to the finish I saw that I could make under 7:30 and did. I crossed at 7:28. I was the last of my friends to finish, but they are all really good runners. I just wanted to finish, which I did.
We got a nice Patagonia finishers shirt!