Distance : 31 miles
Finish : 5:38:29
Pace : 10:55
Rank : #61 (overall)
Somehow we thought the race started at 8.30, so when we arrived there at 7.50, we basically dropped off our bag, get the BIB, and ran. Joe and I literally started from the very back of the starting line. Joe did not have water till aid station #1 and he was using button up shirt till the finish line. I, on the other hand, was kinda in a rush mode and ran too fast for my first part of 10 miles, and had to pay the price on the last 10 miles. Oh and off course, I got off the trail cuz when I was eating my M&M and did not pay attention on the trail mark, I got an extra free mile (maybe .5 mile). And for Jess, somehow she was having fun, though she got bloody knee. But we are happy folks at the finish line. One of my favorite race organizer.
We run the Blues Cruise clockwise on even years and counter-clockwise on uneven years.
Course description for counter-clockwise directions: (uneven years)
The race starts at the pavilion at the Day-Use-Area. After a short stint on the road (about 1/3 mile) you will turn onto trails. The next 3 miles are mostly rolling single track and you will lose net-elevation until you arrive at Aid station #1.
Mile 4 to Mile 10: (Aid station # 3 — RATS NEST) features mostly single track and is considered the flattest and fastest section of the race.
Mile 10 to Mile 15: The real race starts at Mile 10!!! Climb up the ski slope hill (approx 300 ft climb) followed by a mix of rolling single track and wider gravel roads.
Mile 15 to Mile 25: This section is the most remote section of the trail system. Great views of the lake and the Pennsylvania hills. Great single track trails with rolling hills. None of these hills are super steep or long, however this section features a lot of these hills and they will take their toll if you run them too hard.
Mile 19 : (Gear drop location) Major creek crossing. Creek is about 50 ft wide and usually knee-deep. A volunteer will be there to assist you. Your drop back will be delivered to that location so you can change into dry shoes and socks if you wish.
Mile 25 – 30: Mix of single track and wider faster gravel sections.
Mile 30: Longest climb (approx) 1 mile of the race however not as steep as the ski slope hill. Finish: Nice little 1/3 Mile downhill on the road to the finish
Course description for clockwise directions:(even years)
The race starts at the pavilion at the Day-Use-Area. After a short stint on the road (about 1/3 mile) you will turn onto trails. After a short climb you hit a 1.5 mile downhill section to the stilling basin (lowest elevation of the race). The section from the stilling basin to the 1st aid station (mile 4) consists mostly of a gravel trail with little elevation changes. Mile 4 to Mile 16 (Aid station # 4 – Magarithaville) features mostly single track and many small hills. Each hill by itself is not difficult, since all of these climbs are less that 150 ft of elevation. However this section features a lot of these hills and they will take their toll if you run them too hard. The next 3 miles feature a mix of single track and some wide gravel trails. At Mile 19 you meet the infamous Ski slope Hill. Almost 300 ft of elevation gain will reduce most of us regular folks to walking. Once you conquered the ski slope hills who have a long flat and fast section ahead of you. Mile 20 to 25 is mostly flat. This section can help you to conserve energy for the final push or help you to make some time. The hills are picking up again halfway between aid station #6 and #7. Aid station #7 is located at mile 27.5. The last section is all single track and hilly. The new course is more challenging than the original out and back, but we believe it is a fair course and doable for anyone who is prepared properly.