Latest reviews by Laurie Hess

(2018)
"Montour 24 Race Report"
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Montour 24 is a timed race. That means you run for a set amount of time (rather than a definite distance). I have done the 6-hour version of Montour 24 several times, but that was eliminated from the list of possibilities this year. Every option was a 24 hour option in 2018 – either run the entire race solo, or team up with 3 friends and run it as a relay. The friends who I ran it with last year (Nancy, Cammy and my hubby Bill) and I chose the relay option. I have never done a 24 hour relay before, so I was excited to try a special favorite race in new format.

The course is a 1.44 mile loop that is mostly trail, with a short section of grass and a short section of park road thrown in. Some of the trail is wooded single track along a stream with some rocks and roots; some of it is a more manicured double track. The course is fairly (but not completely) flat. I have always loved Montour 24 for its variety of surfaces and beautiful setting, but what I love most about the race are the friendly people I have met there over the years.

To read the full race report go here
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/montour-24-race-report/

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(2018)
"Buck Ridge Burn Half Marathon Race Report"
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A few weeks ago my speedy friend Diana asked me if I would be interested in running a trail half marathon with her. I checked my calendar, decided the date worked, asked my hubby Bill if he was interested (yes!) and said I would love to. This race fit into my schedule really well. I have an intimidating 25k in two weeks, and I figured this race could serve as a tune-up.

I would definitely highly recommend this race. The course is tough, with lots of mud, rocks, stream crossings, roots, and climbs, but not ridiculous. It is a trail race. The vibe is friendly and fun, the volunteers were amazing, encouraging and helpful, and the course was extremely well marked – probably the best marked trail race I have ever run. It would be almost impossible to get lost. The price was very reasonable and the aid stations were well stocked and well-placed. I have no complaints at all. I hope to do the race again next year!

To read the full race report, go here https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/buck-ridge-burn-trail-half-marathon-race-report/

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(2018)
"Hyner View Trail Challenge 25k Race Report"
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The race was held on April 21, but I had to register almost a year ago. In Pennsylvania, Hyner is legend. Registration for the 2018 race opened on May 1, 2017, and filled four days later. There is also a 50k version of the race and a strictly enforced cap of 1,000 runners total, most of them in the 25k.

After running a short downhill on the gravel road, we came out on a state highway, which was closed to traffic, to run across a bridge over the Susquehanna River. We turned left and, after some congestion getting through a narrow gate, were on the Cliffhanger Trail.

The Cliffhanger Trail is aptly named. It is a narrow trail carved into the side of a mountain. The trail is rolling, with more ups than downs. To my left was the side of the mountain; to my right a steep drop-off about 100 feet down to the river. I am afraid of heights, but as long as my feet are on the ground (as opposed to, say, riding on a chair lift), my phobia is not too bad. I did, however, do some mental calculations about water temperature and surviving a fall into the river.

To read the full race report, please go here:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/hyner-view-trail-challenge-25k-race-report/

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(2018)
"Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k Race Report"
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There are not very many races that I do more than one time. I like to experience ones I haven’t yet tried, and there are so many races to select from. Ukrop’s is one of those exceptions. This is the 8th time I have done this race. I think it is fair to say that it is my favorite race.

The race announcer does a great job getting everyone pumped up before they start. He called our wave to the line, and we were off. We ran a short distance on Broad St., then turned onto Monument Avenue, where the majority of the race is run. Monument Ave. is a broad boulevard with a wide grass strip down the center. You run up one side of the grass strip and back the other. The course is almost pancake flat, and there is so much to see as you are running. Almost every block contains cheer squads like the Rockin’ “Grannies”, who were rocking out to some thumping music.

For the full race report, please go here:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/ukrops-monument-avenue-10k-race-report/

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(2018)
"Naked Bavarian 20 Mile Trail Race Report"
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I want to say right up front that I ran the race fully clothed. (No one would want to see me run 20 miles naked!) The "Naked" in the name of the race refers to the race being a no frills, low cost trail run. There were no T-shirts, no medals, and few awards, but the race only cost $30.

The weekend before the race was very wet in our part of the country. It poured for a few days. Streams and rivers overflowed their banks. The ground was saturated. Then two days before the race, it rained again, and the rain was accompanied by gale force winds. Trees were down, people lost power, but we were (thankfully) spared from snow. We got an email from the race director Friday evening assuring us that the race was on.

After a 200 meter jog on a park road, we entered the woods and ran on single track. Most of the run was in the woods, which was good. The trees and terrain provided some shelter from winds that were blowing out of the northwest at 30 miles per hour. We ran on a mixture of single and double track and soon got to the first aid station.

The race course was a lollipop shape. The first seven miles and the last seven miles were the same trail, run in different directions. In between, there was a seven mile loop that was the lollipop.

To read the full race report, please go here:
https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/naked-bavarian-20-mile-trail-race-report/

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