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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Buck Ridge Burn Trail 1/2 Marathon Race Report 2014

Being literally 15 minutes drive from my front door and in the scenic Michaux State Forest, I had no excuses not to run this race.

The Buck Ridge Burn half marathon and 5K was held on a gorgeous spring morning on 4/6/14.  Beginning and ending right at the Appalachian Trail Museum and the adjacent Pine Grove Furnace, you couldn't ask for a prettier setting in the South Mountain Region.


Now in its 4th year, RD's Bill Bechtel and Jennifer Henry put on the perfect, low-key trail running event with help from an army of well-trained volunteers.

Appalachian Running Company served as the headquarters for all pre-race packet pickups and such on the Saturday prior.  I'd like to note that walking in the door at 9:04AM, I had the honor of being the first to pick up their packet! (Pretty sure that deserves a selfie high-five)

I had a few friends run this race last year and enjoyed it, but I had no idea I was in for such a treat.

Training during my "layover" week between half marathons was few and far between, and had no intentions of putting in much mileage because of how hard I pushed the second half of The LOVE Run, sustaining speeds I'm just not used to doing recently.  This lack of mileage was also due in part to the constant rain we received here in Central PA that week.  Said rain set us up for a wet and muddy run for the Buck Ridge Burn...just enough to make it fun!

Plenty of mud out there today!

With countless stream crossings, varied scenery and terrain, this race is great for the seasoned trail runner or people looking for a good running adventure.  I would not recommend this run for road runners uncomfortable with sketchy footing for hours on end.  To see a good example of what I'm talking about, see around the 2:00 minute mark of my video posted below.

You got a little something on your cheek...

I wish I had more photos to share, but the video took up all my attention!

And finally, there are certain aspects of every race (that charges an entry fee) that are pretty much expected: some sort of swag item, a bib, course markings, etc.  This final section is meant to highlight areas where the race went above and beyond expectations, as well as where it fell short.  This is a new section for my race reports, but I think I'd like to give it a name.  Something like "Buzz Lightyear and The Sloth"....we'll see if that sticks.

Buzz Lightyear

- Plentiful aid stations for only a half marathon distance with tons of fruit and other sweet treats, gels, and various liquids
- Speaking of food, the post-race spread was great! (see video)
- Price: it was only 40 bucks.
- Extremely well marked course
- Lastly, and most impressive...Results were up on Ultrasignup the same day!  Without chip timing!

The Sloth

- I would prefer a higher resolution course map on the website (such as MapMyRun or Garmin Connect) so individuals who live closeby can get out on the course prior to race day.  Or if seeing the actual course isn't an option, have a better idea of elevation and terrain so they can do some race-specific training wherever they live.

Training leading up to the race:
  Monday: 4 mile hike
  Tuesday: Rest
  Wednesday: 7 miles moderate on BRB course
  Thursday: Rest
  Friday: Rest
  Saturday: Rest

Race Gear List:
  Race Shirt from the Frederick Half
  GoLite Mesa Shorts
  Feetures Men's Light Cushion Quarter Socks
  Brooks PureGrit
  HTC One
  Garmin Fenix
  Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera
  DIY Monopod

Race Nutrition:
  Banana, Nature Valley Bar, and Coffee for Breakfast
  Water @ every stop
  About 4 Power Bar chews around mile 7

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