I could feel the thin layered salt that was pasted across my temples. The mid day turned hot, and running with the crown on in January in Appalachia proved to be a challenge this year. I was making forward motion, but slower than last year. Another year had gone by and I found myself running with friends celebrating the freedom to run in the mountains, the freedom that many do not have.
This was the 3rd running of the Sultan 50k. Runners are required to wear a crown, and eat birthday cake, it’s a party on the trail. The official distance is 33 miles with only one aid station at the turnaround of this loly-pop course. The route was first discovered by adventurer and ultra runner extraordinaire Senior Grand Kirk sometime within the last decade.
We started promptly at 10am and run uphill for about 10 miles at which point we enter the state park. From there we take a few trails to make it to the half way point, the Jacob Fork parking lot. I reached the 16.5 mile aid station in 3:03. Birthday cake and hydration await runners here, along with anything they dropped at the start. A big thank you to Lily, Charles, Erik, and Julie for helping out here. After a headstand and refilling my bottles I took off to the waterfalls and then retraced my path back to the start/finish line. I struggled on the return, but eventually made it back in 7:43. A little warm mid day for January, but overall the weather could not have been more pleasant.
Thank you to all that made this event possible, and for another great birthday run!
|FULL DISTANCE -- 33 Miles|
|Name||Distance||Off. Finish||AS 16.5M||Finish (actual)|
|HALF DISTANCE 16.5 Miles|
|Hannah - Brandon's GF||16||UNKNOWN|