No, I didn't finish. But I didn't time out either. I quit. I stopped running at the Covered Bridge, around mile 42. The heat and humidity just really got to me.
A good downpour hit around 6pm Friday night and then again around 4am race morning. This made, as I feared, the green section really muddy. I was pleased with my decision to wear my old winter trail shoes, that still had the screws in them. I think that helped with my traction.
My race really was okay for quite a while. I hit a bad patch starting on the orange loop with its climbs. I actually had to stop and yell at myself out loud, to get over it. I was eating and drinking; in fact I had iced coffee in a handheld. I could kind of feel the caffeine in my head with a bit of a buzz but no energy. (In hindsight that could have just been part of heat stroke.) I perked up a little when I hit Hickory Ridge Aid Station and started on the long descent to the campground. I was just dreading the run out to the Grist Mill. Although there is now less of the course on the blacktop road, there is still a good 1/2 mile or so to endure in the sun.
I got to the Grist Mill AS, and I am not that much of a complainer, but I'm going to do it now. (This has been the typical experience for me at this AS for 3 years.) Most AS volunteers are great. Someone asks you if you want your drop bag, or water refilled. I get to Grist Mill, and while there are people (volunteers? crew? who could tell??) milling around, talking to each other, I can't get anyone who looks vaguely like they are in charge. "Ice? Ice? Is there any ice? ANYONE??" The only person who answered was another runner-"down there, end of table." I push around two people talking and open the cooler. There is lunch meat perched on top of the ice, so I help myself to a slice while I look around for something to get the ice out with. I end up just pouring the ice into my handheld and hydration thingy. I then look for a sandwich, but there's none made. I go over to where the drop bags are, and I can't figure out where the numbers begin. Some crew handler actually helps me. The food in my drop bag just doesn't look appetizing. I take a bottle of Boost and turn to go. As I am leaving, someone actually says "do you need anything?" Uh, you're about ten minutes late, but I said thank you anyways.
The loop out to the Grist Mill, where you are exposed to the sun, just sucked my energy level. As I started up the hill on the North Rim Trail, I couldn't even get up the hill without stopping. This little section is one mile long. It took me a 1/2 hour. I then decided to just walk (and a real slow walk) the next 2.5 miles back to the Covered Bridge along the river. I realized for me to have a good chance at finishing Mohican, I needed just about perfect conditions. The mud and the weather conditions were the two wild cards that helped me make the decision to DNF at mile 42
Now, the weather is not an excuse, it was all my decision to stop at mile 42. I simply just didn't want to go on. And I'm perfectly fine with that.
Big apologies to anyone I have told the Mohican course is well marked. Sorry about that.
As I came into the CB, to head out on the Purple Loop, there was massive complainings about no markings. As I ran the Purple Loop, I was surprised to see this was true. There were only two pie plate markers on the entire course. When you got to the top of the waterfall climb, there was nothing marked to show you to go left or right. There were some other crucial areas, where if you didn't know the course, you would have no clue. And apparently, there were between 10-30 runners that missed turns and were all over the place.
This is the last year for me at Mohican under the current race director. I haven't been impressed with much of the race management since he took over, and I will spend my race dollars and time somewhere else. So many races to choose from!!!