Runner: Matt Anthony
Race Date: 11/13/2021
Location: Sky Valley, GA
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/6253544510
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
1. Beautiful views of the Georgia and North Carolina mountains, including from the observation deck of Rabun Bald, the second highest peak in Georgia at 4,677 feet!
2. Great organization by RunBum Tours including outstanding aid station food like hot quesadillas, chocolate, pickles, avocado, etc.
3. Tons of vert (~7,000 up and ~7,000 down) from technical to gentle
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
You climb the second highest peak in Georgia. Twice.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
Thanks to Coach Matt, my training was spot on and I was as prepared as I’ve ever been. This was my fourth 50k and it’s starting to come together so I was able to enjoy it in a way I have not before.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
- Long races mean potentially lots of variety in weather – even though it started in freezing temps pre-dawn, the coldest was on the exposed peak in late morning.
- I tend to carry all my calories but I probably could have relied more on aid station food.
- The only way to train for trails and downhill is by doing them.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
You can push harder than you think.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Lots of uphills. Lots of downhills. Lots of roots and rocks. Your feet will get wet. Most importantly, the last mile and a half is basically a road downhill so you can flyyyyyy!
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Toughest of the 4 I’ve done. I think so.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Extremely well run.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
Ha! Not in the back where I was!
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Hot, fresh quesadillas! And lots of other stuff – really good stuff.
Weather and typical race conditions
Near freezing. Rain threatened in the 10 day forecast but it was clear as a bell by race day. Course had some mud but nothing crazy. Cold creek crossings, knee deep.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
Headlamp required for start. You’re done with it in the first hour.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Not really – you’re back in the woods and hard to reach.
How’s the Swag?
Trucker hat, beer glass, medal. Good quality.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
5 out of 5, highly recommended.
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