This was the fourth time I’ve come out to run the DC race and my second time running the 50K. Being my first trail race since October, I was extra excited to get out and enjoy a day on my backyard trails. The weather couldn’t have been nicer on race day and with spring just starting to open up, the course was absolutely gorgeous!
|Photo Credit: Exploring Endurance
The first 13 miles seemed to blow right by. Many sections of the course went through lush forests full of spring flowers blossoming. Add to that the powerful Potomac River flowing alongside of you and it had all the ingredients that make for a scenic course.
I felt great heading into the Great Falls section of the course (mile 13ish). However, things went a little south for me after the Great Falls aid. The food I ate at the aid station wasn’t settling well with me and it left me feeling pretty nauseous. For the remainder of the race, it was hard for me to take down fluids and food without feeling like I was gonna barf. As a result, my pace started to suffer a bit and after finishing the Great Falls section – which is about a 5 mile loop – I really had to grind it out the last half of the race.
Photo Credit: Exploring Endurance
I finished strong in 5:37:32 and shattered my old course record of 6:23:22 that I ran back in 2012. After lying out in the shade and resting for a while, I grabbed my free post-race meal and soaked in the energy that was radiating from the finish line. The North Face Endurance Challenge is one huge party that celebrates trail running. It’s a great place to get your feet wet if you’re new to trail running and an awesome proving ground for those looking to better their previous trail efforts. I’ll be back next year for sure!