Run Yeti Far…2.0

Last weekend I went back to amazing Damascus, VA for another training run on the Yeti 100 course, the Virginia Creeper Trail. This time I brought Adam along so he could experience the wonderfully scenic trail by bike. No sooner had we arrived Friday after, and he was off grinding up towards Whitetop. He came back with a big smile on his face so I feel less bad about him crewing me for 24+ hours in September, since I know he’ll be entertained. I also introduced him to the wonder that is the Creeper Cottages, our home away from home on the trail in Damascus. Seriously, if you want a weekend away with hiking, biking, and small town trail charm, please go stay at the Creeper Cottages.


Virginia Creeper Trail and elevation. We start at the course high point at Whitetop Station, in the bottom right corner.

Once again we started at Whitetop and ran the 33 miles down to Abingdon. This will represent the first 3rd and last 3rd of the course on race day. Of course in the middle of the race we have to run the opposite direction, back up to Whitetop. As you can see, the elevation isn’t that bad but after mile 50, that 17 mile uphill stretch will be interesting. I felt physically stronger this time around than the first training run, but was forced to slow down from my projected race pace due to heat and humidity. This early in the summer I haven’t really acclimated to it yet and honestly, even after 14 years living in the South, this Yankee still does very poorly in the heat. It’s likely race day temps at the end of September will be much better, but after dealing with record highs at Chattanooga Ironman last September I’m not making any assumptions. Luckily I get the whole summer ahead of running the heat, including a 100k on July 1 running around an unshaded track. Fun times.

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This week I started poking around for previous Yeti 100 race reports, hoping to find some well executed race plans I could use as a logistical outline for myself and crew. I was happy to find a great report and she kindly shared with me great advice and her wonderfully detailed planning spreadsheets. She has a similar (maybe a bit faster) pace as me so her splits will be helpful for providing my crew with approximate arrival times and instructions. Obviously, I’ll have to run my own race but it’s nice to have a better handle on how it should go.

With 99 days until race day, here’s my plan so far for the rest of the summer:

  • July 1 – Merrill’s Mile 24 Hour – I plan to run 100k here. It’s a relentless 1 mile exposed track but it’s my only opportunity to get the distance. In addition, the benefit of doing a looped, timed event is that you’re constantly running with people and your supplies are always close by. I’m going to load my car with anything I may need and rest in there when necessary.
  • July 3 – Peachtree Road Rage – 10k race down Peachtree the night before the other race down Peachtree
  • July 4 – AJC Peachtree Road Race – Largest 10k in the world!
  • July 9 – Mad Marathon (Vermont) – I’m running this race as a BibRave Pro and I’m super excited. It looks beautiful and New England is my happy place. Plus, we all get to hang out at my parent’s lake house in NH after. If you’re interested in running the race you can still register using code BR2017 for $10 off the half or full.
  • July 16 – GUTS Hot to Trot 8 hour – a fun looped course at Sweetwater Creek State Park. I’ll run with the goal of hitting 50k. More sucky heat training.
  • August 27 – Yeti Snakebite 50 – It’s a 50k race but there may be a secret 50 mile option. The heat is always an issue but I’ll really need a solid 50 miler before race day so this may be it.

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