Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back to the hills...... Bell Buckle, TN

RC Cola & Moon Pie 10 miler - Bell Buckle, TN

Have you ever been to the Bell Buckle or Lynchburg area of TN?  This was my first trip to the area and as we traveled,  I immediately fell in love with the area.  This race has been on my radar for several years, but never committed to making the trip.  Earlier this year while running with Terri, she mentioned that she was interested in this race.   We decided 2012 was the year to do it.  We invited our friends Vicki and Audrey to go too.
Terri, Vicki, Audrey
We made the 6-7 hour trip on Fri., raced on Sat., toured part of the festival, and then jumped in the car heading home.   As mentioned, this race was on my must do list.  When I was training for the St. George, UT in 2009, I contacted Jennifer (online) to get some tips/info about the SGM course.  She helped me with super information and we have maintained online communication through fb and email since that time.  We had never met face to face.  In addition to sharing running stories online, we also share a passion for trying to live healthy (chia seed recipes shared, green tea talk, etc.)   Each year I would read about Jennifer's race experience at the Moon Pie race and each year I would say to myself, I must run this race and meet Jennifer.
Jennifer and me after the race

It was amazing to me that my impression of Jennifer through online communication was "spot-on."  I could feel the instant runner connection with her, and enjoyed our short visit on Sat.   She introduced us to some of her running friends.  I know we will meet again in the future to share running stories and passion for our sport (maybe at Moon Pie 2013), but until then we will continue to communicate online.  (keep sharing your running adventures Jennifer)
The race was perfect.  Well, let me say perfect for a June race.  June is warm for racing.  One of my favorite parts of the Moon Pie 10 miler is the race directors notation right on the entry form.  It reads.....


To be honest, after running the Blue Ridge VA Marathon in April, the notation about the TN hills no longer scared me.   This race was not a "goal race".  This race was about enjoying the day with friends, and to serve as a test of my fitness in the early weeks of my marathon training for the Top of Utah.    Success!

Our travel group represented MS very well.  We all left with PR races.  Terri led the way with a great race.  She finished 1:20:10.  Her 2012 year continues to impress all of us.   Vicki and Audrey always inspire us with the natural ability to race well.   Vicki is 61 and finished 1:32:49, and won her age group easily.    Audrey is 51 and finished 1:30:15, and finished 2nd in her age group.   All 3 of the ladies continue to inspire me and the South MS runner's world.  Amazing!    I finished first in the 40-44 year old age group.  My last 10 mile race in 2008 (1:29:??).  This year I finished 1:24:18. 4 years older and 4+min. faster - I travel home a happy girl.
age group award

Terri, Audrey, Ginny, Vicki

Jennifer,Me, Terri, Vicki, Audrey
My only regret from the trip was not having a camera on the course.  I love a scenic, no-hoopla race (small) and this was it.  This race had around 800 runners with few cheering fans on the course, but the landscape was truly amazing for someone who lives in the piney woods.   Thanks Terri, Vicki, Audrey, and Jennifer!  Another race weekend to remember.