Looking forward to a throwdown in Damascus next week!
Just heard that Jonathan Allen will also be running in the Iron Mountain 50. Jon beat me by 8 minutes at the Umstead 100 this year, and made the podium in 5th last year at the Ultra Race of Champions, winning the last money spot. This year Jon has won the Camp Croft 26mi Challenge, placed 4th at Umstead 100mi, and placed 3rd in the Logan Peak 28mi. He's also won the Mind Over Matter 15K and placed 2nd in the Uwharrie Mountain Run 40.
Shaun Pope will be tearing up the course as a former winner of the Iron Mountain 50. Shaun recently paced Jay Smithberger in the Leadville 100. This year Shaun has won the Buckeye Trail 50K, the Buckeye Buster 50K, and placed 3rd at the Holiday Lake 50K. As stated, Shaun has won Iron Mountain before, (in the second fastest time run ever).
Brad Hinton and Jeremy Pade are also going to be challenging and formidable front runners in what could be one of the closest races any of us have run this year. Brad has won or podiumed better than 3rd in 5 races already this year, including his win at the Rosaryville 50K, and a 2nd in the Bel Monte 50K. Jeremy has podiumed at Oil Creek 100 placing 2nd, and ran 3rd in the Cheat Mountain 50mi.
Brian Pickett will be looking to his win from last years Iron Mountain 30 as he tackles the 50 mile distance this year.
It's not only going to be the best tactician who wins reaches Damascus first after a day of climbing in the gorgeous Virginia mountainscape, but the man who is willing to endure the most pain for over 7 hours.
My training has been going great...I've been recovering well since the Tour De Virginia, and running hard when it's right and recovering a lot when it's called for. I'm feeling stronger than ever and can't wait for my first race since the TDV! (It's been over 3 months since I've run a typical one day race and I'm chomping at the bit. The Tour De Virginia was great, but grueling it out for 2 weeks is definitely not the same as a 50miler!)