Battle For Black Rock 12 Mile-ish Trail Race


What do you get when you mix cold and rain and mountail trails? MUD!!!!

Sean Blanton, the Run Bum, puts on my very favorite races. His are no-frills, scenic, mountain goat races that will kick your ass AND be the most fun you’ve ever had running!

Yesterday was the Battle for Black Rock at North Georgia’s Black Rock Mountain State Park. You could chose the 12 mile race, the 24 mile race, or the 36 mile race. A few months ago I considered the 36 miler, but decided I’d wait until next year to start moving towards ultra distances.

Thank GOD! I forgot that 12 mountain miles in a Run Bum race are like, maybe, 18 or twenty regular running miles!

I can’t explain to you how wet and slippery the trails were. I slipped and fell eight or ten times. All my years of sliding into bases playing softball was actually a big help. Most of my falls yesterday just turned into nice hook slides.

It felt like the whole race was uphill and there were some steep hills that were so muddy and slippery that I had to just drag myself up on my hands and knees using roots. You can only imagine the footing trying to slip, slide and run DOWN the hills!

When we started, Sean said he really wasn’t sure what the distance would be – just something around 12. Thank goodness it only turned out to be 9.81. If I’d had to deal with two more miles of hills, my quads might have exploded!

I finished and I was covered in mud, and soaking wet and freezing cold. The race was tougher than my marathon. Even though it was an hour shorter, the terrain just shreds your legs. I was HURTING! But it was probably the most fun thing I’ve done all year!

That’s how you know it’s epic. When the hardest thing you do is also the most fun, you know, at least for that day, that you’ve lived your life to the fullest!

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9.81 miles
Avg. Pace: 21:37
Avg. HR: 156
Calories: 1724

Elevation Gain: 2757 feet

Race Results: I didn’t finish last!!!


  1. 10:19 – Elev. Gain: 258 Elev. Loss: 210
  2. 18:21 – Elev. Gain: 302 Elev. Loss: 188
  3. 22:58 – Elev. Gain: 21 Elev. Loss: 696
  4. 21:17 – Elev. Gain: 34 Elev. Loss: 558
  5. 17:51 – Elev. Gain: 67 Elev. Loss: 22
  6. 28:38 – Elev. Gain: 668 Elev. Loss: 36
  7. 16:28 – Elev. Gain: 102 Elev. Loss: 528
  8. 31:23 – Elev. Gain: 553 Elev. Loss: 218
  9. 27:41 – Elev. Gain: 460 Elev. Loss: 65
  10. 17:08 – Elev. Gain: 293 Elev. Loss: 120

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”
– Jimmy Dugan, “A League of their Own”

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2 responses to “Battle For Black Rock 12 Mile-ish Trail Race”

  1. domsrunning says :

    amazing. I love the idea of 12 miles or thereabouts! Who cares how much providing the runners have fun! 😀

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