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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Elon, NC

    The Bear and The Grizzly

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    Nope, not gonna talk about animals.

    The Bear is a 5mile run. The start point is Linville NC and the finish is at the top of Grandfather mountain. I think the elevation gain is just over 1500ft.
    A runner I am not. I had it on my bucket list to do and although we initially were turned away and were put on the wait list, we managed to get a spot. I think the run is limited to 800 or 850 people. At any rate, I did not train at all, but knew I could finish it ... it wouldn't be pretty, but I knew I could at least walk the distance! The race start time was 7pm...not ideal for a morning person, but again, it was on my list, so gotta suck it up and go with the flow.
    The start was terrible, as always for me, I take awhile to warm up and no, I didn't warm up at all pre-start. The initial kick uphill kicked my tail and I soon found myself walking. Miles 2 to 3 were the 'easiest' wrt to the elevation gain. Once we hit mile 4 the uphill really got nasty --- remember the seen in Forrest Gump when he was running up those switchbacks? Well, that was where we were...in fact there is a sign calling it "forrest gump curve".
    When you get to near the end and see all the people ahead of you in the switchbacks, but also know they are WATCHING you, well, you know the feeling, you gotta run! So run I did..sort of....actually more of a fast awkward jog/walk.
    My son and better half met me at the last switch back to run up the last section with me (they both finished a long time ago)...I saw the clock and it read 1:07. So, a snail's pace it was, but I finished, not last and not completely drained, so I was pretty happy.

    The next morning...O'Dark'Thirty, we began The Grizzly.
    The Grizzly is a metric century through the mountains with about 7500ft of elevation gain. Just over half way in, we climbed the backside of Beech Mountain. I didn't think that road would ever end. And of course it had to rain going up, which meant, yes, the roads were wet and treacherous going down. Oh, and did I mention part of the climb of Beech was on a hard packed dirt road? With skinny tires?? Yeah, that was fun, real fun...not.
    This was not an enjoyable ride. I ended up with (i guess you'd call them) saddle sores on various 'parts'. 5 hours and 23 minutes later we finished. I was pretty happy to dismount my bike. Average speed was just under 12 and considering the grades...I think that was okay, not stellar, but okay.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    I feel your pain. We just biked a small stretch of the Blue Ridge parkway, from Devils courthouse to mount Pisgah and back, about 28 miles. Had to walk about a mile of one of the climbs. I can't imagine running one day and then biking those kinda hills the next day.

    Not all who wander are lost



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