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Apr 8, 2013

Stay in the Shade Mountain Man Race Review

Short Version:

Finished in 47:22(official time); a new PR since new distance(approx. 5.6 miles)
Overall place: 47/171
Age Group(M40-49) 9/34
Race #42

A great trail run, well organized, small group, wonderful course, and great cause.  Definitely a race I would do again!


Registration/Packet Pickup
Registration was very simple.  You had the option to register by mail with a form or you could register online.  I opted to register online and everything was very simple.  The organization had a website(HERE) to go on and register.  No extra cost to register online so that was a bonus.  Depending on when you signed up, the cost was $20, $25 or $30.  $30 was for onsite registration and there were people signing up when we got there.  You also had an option to do a 2.1 mile hike if you wanted a shorter route but I signed up for the 5.6 mile run.

Packet pickup was also very easy.  Since this is a smaller race, the only option was race day packet pickup which worked fine given the smallness.  We got there about 9:15am and were able to get our packets in minutes and the race started at 10am.  There was plenty of parking right next to the start.  The State was charging for parking if you didn't have a sticker on your car already.  We had one but the race should really mention this just so runners bring money with them.

While there was professional timing, the timing was based on part of your race bib being ripped off to take down times.  It was a little old school but then for the size of the race, it was easy to manage it too. They should have had the volunteers at race packet pickup tell the runners that you needed that part of the race bib at the end of the race.  While I had mine, Kevin ripped his off and left it in the car.  I guess we've just become accustomed to electronic bib timing.  A volunteer took his number down so all was good.

Start Area
Since we had a few minutes to kill, I took a couple picture at the start area which is also where the registration area is as well.  We were right next to Heart Lake in the Bald Mountain area, hence, Mountain Man.  It was not too bad for temperatures, however, it was windy so it made for a cold wait until we got going.

The race had three port-o-potties to use prior to the start which was more than enough.
The race was still getting things set up but most of it was completed 
Kevin and I decided it would be fun to grow beards as part of the race so we looked like Mountain men.  Haha!  I already shaved mine off when I got back from the race.
The starting point
The race thought to bring some firewood and build a small fire people to keep warm while they were waiting.  Had there been no wind, it would have been fine waiting.  This was a nice touch to think about this.  Since parking was right across the street, we could have stayed in the car until the start time if we had wanted to.
A super idea - heat! 
Age group awards/Raffle items
Getting post race food ready
Almost time to race.  This was the line.
People behind us also in line
Before we started, the race director said a few words about the charity and the sponsors.  All the funds go towards fighting melanoma through additional research, improve awareness, and supporting patients/survivors.   A great cause!
The race director, Karl 
The race director basically said, ready, set, go and we were off!  For those of you that have not run trail races in the past, they typically tend to be hilly but are a great time.  They can also be muddy; however, today was not muddy except in a couple small spots.  We started off a little slow as people started to get  their pacing down.  About 1/4 mile in, I took off past many people to try and get into where my pace should be.  The trails were awesome and they had plenty of space for passing.

Note - all pictures on the course were taken by me while I'm running and I don't slow down for them.  Some come out and some don't but all will give you a good idea of what the trail was like out there this year.

I have run a couple trail runs but never in this area and it was quite enjoyable and tough at the same time.

Here's what the course looks like per the Garmin.  Pretty accurate from what I can see.
Per Garmin
Splits were a little slower than being on the roads as would be expected given the up and down hills.  Overall though, I felt really good for this race considering I have not done any hill work except running at Stony Creek.
Lots of ups and downs which is expected
The start being a little slow
As you can see, there is plenty of room to pass
And the hills begin pretty quickly(always a great time to pass in my opinion)

If you've got up hill, then comes down hill!
As you can see from the map, there are lots of lakes in the area. This was the first.
A cool bridge we passed a couple times
More hills!
Another lake off the trail.  This area was so beautiful even this time of year.
More downhills!
Did I mention hills?
Back over a bridge
Some of what the trail looks like
Passing a trailhead
Finish line!
Aid Stations
While I didn't get any pictures of the aid stations, there were two of them out there with water.  There were a couple volunteers out there for each aid station.  I didn't need to stop at either but I felt that two stops was perfect.

Finish area
The finish area was in the same place where we started since we basically did two loops different loops out on the course.  The race had Jet's pizza after the race along with apples, bananas, oranges and water.  People were hanging around waiting for everyone to come in for the awards and raffle.  The race had not only Age Group awards but they also had a raffle so everyone had a chance to win something.  Unfortunately, my number didn't get picked!
The race had a massage area after
Runners having a great time after
Included with your race fee was a marked off course, not certified but was timed, but then I was not really expecting it to be certified.  You received a cotton race shirt.  I'm not a big fan of white but I've got plenty of tech shirts so I'm sure I'll wear this one.  Everyone also received a koozie with the race name on it and a chance to win something in the raffle.  You also received pizza, fruit and water at the end of the race.  Not a bad deal especially if you signed up early for $20.
Shirt Front
Shirt Back - with sponsors
I felt the race was well organized.  This was the seventh year of the race so it really should be organized by this time.  Other than a couple minor things such as paid parking and the communication with the race bibs, things went off without a hitch.  I love running small local races that are for a great cause.

Overall, the race was a fun one.  I really enjoy being on the trails and it's nice to get out on them with a race once in awhile as well.  Their website was easy to use, information was on there about the race times, and you could sign up there.  The race course was exceptional.  My Garmin came in a little short of the 5.6 miles advertised, only off by 0.06.  The Post race food was great.  I don't really eat pizza much but this is a real treat for a race and it's nice they also had options for fruit as well.  The weather was great for running today.  Of course, it could have been snowy or it could have been really muddy so we got lucky this year.  This is a great race to sign up the day of, if you are worried about that, but I prefer to save a little.  Since we don't have a huge amount of trail races in the area, this is a great one to add to your list and it's for an excellent charity.
Mountain men finishers
The race also organizes another race in November in a different area so check out their website for more information.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. Love that this race is for charity! Those hills look brutal, especially if muddy! Congrats!!

  2. I've spent so many years mountain biking out there, I almost recognize each tree in your photos. Nice report!