The 2013 Baker Trail UltraChallenge

Distance : 50 mile (got lost so many times that ended up 57 Miles)
Finish : 12:12:40
Pace :  14:39
Rank : #40 (overall)

This race was actually not a full trail running race, I would say more than half of the route was on the road or on the jeep road. I hate to say, this was my least favorite race.

Lets start with I don’t favor.
The trail probably the most ill-marked race I ever ran. I know getting lost on the trail is part of the fun. But getting lost on the race day because of silly reason such as confusing trail mark, trail marked is not exist in a junction, etc, it s a bit un-acceptable. I have been in many races like in Terrapin Mountain 50K, Blue Cruise 50K, Pinhoti 100, and Nueces 50mile; where the race organizer were simply put an arrow chalk mark on the ground and that made a huge different and a simple solution. On the other hand we did not have that fancy mark in this Baker Trail race. In one point I was running around for 15 minutes, from trying to figure it out by myself till a good amount people caught up with me and got lost too, probably it ended up a good of 20 runners. I ended up had about 7 extra miles.
Also we did not have the map and route description until the last day, actually received the map and got the course brief just before we start. It would be a big help if we have it in advance, so that we could study it first and make a mental or physical note.

What I do like
Actually it s a pretty good trail, we passed many different areas and neighborhoods. So it was never a boring course. It s not an easy trail, so it made me to keep focus and put aside my frustration of getting lost so many times. The volunteer, so many times they lifted up my spirit and bring back my determination to finish it. I think on the second last aid station, I was pretty sure that I did not want to continue, because I was too upset with the course mark. And there was an old lady who offer me a grilled cheese sandwich, asked me to sit down and took my time, she tried to cheered me up while she was grilling fresh sandwiches for the other runners. After a few minutes, I got up and ran again. Man, I owed that mysterious old lady.
All the aid stations were well stocked, one of the aid station named themselves “Walmart”, they did have everything, except porter steak that I asked them.
They also had one of the best post race meal. That spicy chili beans bowl was epic.
Every year, the finisher only gets 1/3 of the medal piece, and needs to finish 3 years in a row to get the whole medal. Actually this is the only reason that I might run this race again.

Godfrey (0 miles) AS2 Dam Road (11.4 miles) AS4 Ridge Road (21.1 miles) AS6 Route 422 (29 miles) AS9 Matty Road (40.3 miles) Smicksburg (50 miles)
6:43:00 8:44:17 10:58:22 12:36:00 15:34:44 18:55:40

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