I am home from the 2011 Tiadaghton Trail Half. This is another fine race put on by PARunners.com. The race is located at exit 199 (Mile Run) on Interstate 80.
Getting there this morning was easy as usual. We left Altoona around 720 and arrived at the race site at around 850am. Pulling into the lot I looked at the outside temp on my car and it read 18 degrees. Oh fun. Getting outside was even worse, it was windy. Yuck.
Packet pick up was very easy. They had everything very well coordinated and made things quick. One of the people that went with me was not pre-registered and it only took him about 5 minutes to get registered.
The cool thing about this race was that I was able to spend some time this morning with my running friend Shelly Starkey from Oregon. Shelly also brought her brother John to the race. John has never run a race and this was going to be his first race ever.
The race started right on time at 1000am. The start is a nice run up a gravel/dirt road to the trailhead. At the trailhead the cluster started. It was a free for all to get across the stream and there were people falling in the stream and crossing anywhere they could find. I actually walked about 100 yards up stream and crossed to avoid the headaches.
From here, the course varies from single track to jeep/fire roads. The course is very well marked. It would be really hard to get lost on this course.
The fun part was, there was snow everywhere. But the course was in good condition.
There is only one MAJOR climb in the course that is pretty much not runnable. This big climb is at about the 8.5 mile mark. The course itself is very runnable with some rolling terrain and some climbs and good downhills.
As you approach the end, the course winds to I80. When you get to I80, you have to run through a culvert under the interstate. Needless to say, a stream also runs through this culvert. You can figure it out, the race was held in March, there was snow on the course, and the water was FREEZING cold. But, being that it is at the end of the race, this FREEZING cold water felt really good on the feet.
Once you cross out of the culvert, it is approximately 3/10 of an uphill run to the finish.
This race does give a finishers medal to all finishers. They also have hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, Sheetz sandwiches, and donuts at the end.
I listened to everyone and did not push myself during this race. I made this a fun run and still finished at 2:52:34. I found a great pace and the pace I ran today will be great for the Oil Creek 100.
I highly recommend this race for anyone that wants to do a trail half. Very well organized, good course (not too hard, but not too easy), a nice long sleeve shirt, good food, and good times had by all.
See you on the trails or the roads.