Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rock the Canyon Challenge (Day 1 - July 25, 2015)

Saturday: July 25, 2015

I slept fairly well and got up at 3:45AM. The race started at 7:00AM but I didn't want to be on the last bus (which was scheduled to leave the high school at 5:45AM). So the plan was to leave the hotel at 5:15AM, get parked and be on the bus by 5:30AM. As you can imagine, parking was no problem since we were at the high school so there were plenty of spots.

I didn't have to wait at all to get on a bus and sat next to a girl named Lisa who was from (near) the Philadelphia area, We talked about running and I learned that she is mostly a trail runner. She was very nice. You never know who you might be stuck next to when you are a solo person boarding a bus! From what I remember, the bus ride took about 25 minutes. There were already plenty of people at the park by the time we got there. I decided it might be a good idea to use the porta-potty since they were right there. I was pleasantly surprised how clean they were and "fresh" smelling.

While people were standing around socializing and stretching, I decided to walk up to the start line and check out the area. You couldn't really see down into the canyon but it was still beautiful.

The weather was going to be perfect as well.
I randomly found some Half Fanatics and a 50 Stater and we gathered for a picture.
A few pictures of my own and then it was time for the National Anthem. This gentleman is a retired military man and would be carrying the flag the entire race.
I don't have much to say about this race so I'll post all the pictures I took along the way. Once again, I hadn't trained and even if I had I wouldn't have been prepared for the hills. The course was a roller coaster; lots of up and downs. 

I didn't know whether to try and do "my best" on the first day and take pictures the second day because I was pretty sure that I would suck even more on Sunday. But I decided to just enjoy the scenery and take pictures on Day 1. I hope you enjoy them:

Doesn't everyone stop in the middle of a race for pictures?


Beautiful flowers along the course.
By the time I was finished, you could see down into the canyon from the rim. This was what I couldn't see first thing in the morning. According to a brochure I picked up, the Canyon was designated as a Federal registered landmark in 1968. "The 50-mile canyon embraces a natural waterway - Pine Creek - and was formed about 26,000 years ago during the glacial period. It is bordered by Leonard Harrison State Park on the East Rim and Colton State Park on the West Rim."

I did my medal photo-shoot, got my box of goodies and headed down to wait for the bus. Luckily one was there and still had room on it.

This wasn't your typical banana & water post-race snack!
Back at the hotel - I obviously showered and then napped for a little bit - but then I headed back into Wellsboro to check out this quaint little town.

This Diner has been in continuous operation since 1939
and has always been in this same location.

The "famous" Lamppost. 
It is featured on the medal. 
I was all touristy until it was time for the pasta dinner and then headed back to the Moose Lodge. It was basically the same food as last night but a few different desserts. Once again, I sat with "new" people and discussed running events and dogs. I could talk about those two things for days!
Hello cupcakes!
It was time to head back to the hotel in Mansfield and get everything ready for Day 2 of the Rock The Canyon PA Grand Canyon Half Marathon.

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