2016-11-12 - Stone Mill 50 Miler

~52.8 miles @ ~14.0 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Stone_Mill_2016_great_blue_heron_z.jpg"Ha! Love seeing you stop mid-race to take a selfie!" A passing runner laughs at my attempt on the C&O Canal towpath to get a four-foot tall great blue heron into the image before it flies away.
Hours earlier, dawn at Clopper Lake paints the world in gold. Gulls honk and cruise low overhead in V-formation, sunlight glinting off the underside of their wings. Soon thereafter I stumble and fall on Mink Hollow Trail. Combing leaves out of my beard, a surprise discovery: icicles! It's a perfect day, and the resulting sub-14 min/mi average pace is a new Personal Best at this race. I only go off-course once, for ~10 minutes of bonus mileage.

Plus there are good lessons-learned, especially at mile ~20 after a major stream crossing: it's not wise to take off your wet socks and wring them out, without taking off your gloves first!
Happy at the Halfway Point - photo by Brian Butters"And now we just have to be kinder — to everyone!", a runner tells her companion what she concludes from the latest election results. I step off the trail for them to pass, and give her a namaste-salute.

(trackfile; prior races here include 2011-11-19 - Stone Mill 50 Miler DNF, 2012-11-17 - Stone Mill 75k, 2013-11-16 - MCRRC Stone Mill 50 Mile Race, 2014-11-15 - Stone Mill 50 Miler, 2015-11-14 - Stone Mill 50 Miler, ...) - ^z - 2016-12-13