Sunday, June 18, 2017

Utah-kin' To Me (WW # 98)

Be sure to stop by and visit with Tara.



Our Weekly Wrap Guest Host Series continues strong.  Thanks to all of you for making it a success.  This week's guest host is the lovely Tara @ Run and Live Happy.  Be sure to hop over to her blog and show her some love.  Please do not just drop a post.  The purpose of this linkup is to support one another.  Our next guest hosts will be Zenaida Arroyo on June 25th and Kim @ Running on the Fly on July 2nd.

Please contact me if you are interested in being a guest host.  There are still spots available in August. This is a great way to expand your blogging circle or simply make new connections.  To learn more about the Weekly Wrap or being a Guest Host please click HERE.


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Wow!  Stunning Provo, Utah!  When I left off in Coast to Canyon, I had met fellow bloggers at the expo and we had all dined together Friday night.  It was nice to meet Teresa and Zenaida and reconnect with my #holottafun sisters MarciaMary Beth and Judy.  We made a quick stop at Starbucks for Utah travel mugs and called it an early night.

The 3:10 wake-up came too soon.  I wanted to catch the 4:00 shuttle as they stopped running at 4:30.  I ate my usual oatmeal but carried an extra GU to eat before the start.  Staying minutes from the shuttle parking, in short order I was sitting on the front seat of a school bus for the ride up into the canyons for our point to point race.  .

We had about an hour wait before the start, but chatting with the gang made the time pass quickly.  It was nice to finally meet Kristy who entertained us with stories of her recent Rim to Rim Grand Canyon experience.  There was energizing music playing and fires to keep us warm, but that created smoke that I didn't want to breathe.   We shivered while watching a beautiful full moon set behind the mountains.  It was too difficult to take pictures as my hands were completely numb from the cold.

Can you see the road we ran on?

And we're off... My Garmin recorded 41 degrees.  Both the rising sun and the breeze were at our backs. You couldn't ask for better weather.  I kept an old long sleeve race T-shirt on (split up the middle for easy removal) for about a mile.   The scenery was breathtaking with mountains rising on each side and the road following a rushing stream.  We even ran through a small tunnel.  I could definitely tell I was running at altitude [5338 feet -- I live at 300 feet].  I've done it a few times and felt that old familiar burning in my chest.  My heart rate was too high and I backed off to ensure I'd have some gas at the end. 

The course passed right by Bridal Veil Falls

I had no lofty goals, except to enjoy the race.  I've done nothing but struggle since returning from my latest foot injury.  After slogging through our humid weather for months already, I hoped the dry air would work to my benefit.  The miles felt hard (thank you, altitude) but my body felt strong.  For that, I was grateful.  I relished every downhill step and wished they all could have been that way.

On our trek to Bridal Veil Falls the previous afternoon, we realized there would be some uphill in our "downhill" course.  I was proud of the way I navigated the hills but was floored to see my Garmin display 459 feet of elevation GAIN.  [What the heck?]   For a full perspective, the loss was 1193.  


Almost there!
The up and down occurred mostly in the first 8 miles.  The last 5 were out of the canyon, in warm sunshine and quite flat.  I caught up to the back of the 10k racers and had to do a lot of weaving.  But, I was pleased to  maintain a consistent pace.  At the midway point, I had calculated a 2:08 finish.  After staring at the finish line arch in the distance for what seemed like an eternity...that's what I got. 

Official (and my typical toothless) finish photo!  Time = 2:08:36

This scenic race did not disappoint!  Sharing it with friends? Gravy on the biscuit.  The race pictures were free.  We received a very nice jacket instead of a T-shirt.  The after party was well done with a city of vendor tents and trucks.  Cinnabun, Ice Cream Pops, Strawberry Ice, Italian Bread, and Chocolate Tru Moo were a few items I tasted.  I was sad the band did not start playing during the hour plus we hung around.  It looked like it going to be an all day party -- but other adventures awaited.  The only negative was having to stop and grab my own cups at a couple of aid stations.  Perhaps they needed more volunteers?

Mary Beth, Marcia, Me, Teresa, Zenaida (Thanks for the fun time, girls!)

I asked our middle son to accompany me to Utah since he missed our trip to Colorado.  He sweetly agreed so we were on a mission to pack in as much adventure as we could (we succeeded).  He was a good sport tagging along to dinner with us non-stop gabbing girls every night and happily took on the role of race photographer as well.  I'm including a few pictures of some of the things we did.

We rode two ski lifts to the summit of Robert Redford's Sundance Resort

We zip-lined with Mary Beth, Zenaida and Marcia (photo credit Marcia and Zenaida)
 
We hiked from Aspen Grove out to Stewart Falls

We make the steep trek up to explore Timpanogos Cave


Utah, thank you for a wonderful adventure! 

And that's a wrap!


Have you explored any caves?  If so, where?

Would you consider a race with 459 of elevation gain to be (up) hilly?

Where is your next adventure?




90 comments:

  1. That is so nice that your son got to experience this with you! I am so glad you got to meet Kristy! She is an expert on all things Utah!
    I also cut my long sleeve shirts down the middle so I can take them off easily once I warm up! -M

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    1. It was a delight to meet Kristy. She had an amazing (and quite frightening) tale from Rim to Rim!

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  2. What an epic gals weekend (with a middle son along for good measure). Total OD on FOMO (can you follow all that?), I'm so excited for Vegas!! Although I do have another adventure happening next month in Chicago.... ;-)

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    1. Your Chicago adventure will be epic, I'm sure. I'll be OD on FOMO for that. I'm looking forward to Vegas!!

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  3. All of the photos from Utah are absolutely gorgeous! Looks like you all had a great time serious FOMO

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    1. I'm so glad I decided to go. Utah was gorgeous!

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  4. Loved seeing this pictures--so beautiful! Glad you got to enjoy the weekend and scenery with your sun while running a strong race with friends. Congrats! Also, love the idea of your LS tee split up the middle so you can take it off easily!

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    1. I've used that T-shirt trick a few times. I got tired of throwing out jackets or doing without and being miserably cold while waiting around.

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  5. Your title pun is pretty bad, but I'll let it slide because your recap is great. How great that your son went with you! Everything looks so gorgeous.

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    1. Isn't the title corny? Ha ha! I'm happy he was able to go and adventure with me!

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  6. Wow! All of your pictures are gorgeous! It looks like you had such a great trip and got to experience a lot of fun activities. The ziplining would be awesome there! I would definitely consider that altitude a hilly race! I'm glad you got to spend that time with your son and meet up with all the other bloggers. That's so cool that you guys got to run together! Congrats on a great finish time!

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    1. The zip line we did was over the tree tops and not extremely high (but high enough!). We saw one that was very intense where you flew waayyyy above the canyons. We were so glad we had not booked that one. Whew!

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  7. The college son is tall :) That is awesome you got to have so much fun together.
    It so nice you had ideal weather to take in all the adventures.
    I think 459 up is very hilly, I would call it a challenging course :) It is great you felt strong and your time was great!
    I hope I get to Utah one day, I have explored caves in PA and here at home.
    You look fabulous in your race pic! It is nice they gave you a free pic :) Sounds like a class A event.

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    1. They are ALL tall. I'm glad I didn't really know about the elevation gain going in. These caves were at the top of the mountains. The others I've explored have been underground. So, it was a different experience altogether. We hiked 1100 feet up to get there!

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    2. You do have a crew of great looking tall fellows :)
      That is quite a climb up, I've only been in underground caves, it would be very different!

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    3. We rested numerous times! LOL. We had already hiked a fairly difficult 4 mile trail that morning and were SPENT by the time we got to the steep cave trail.

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  8. I think most of the problems I had were due to elevation. Thankfully the downhill didn't bother me (although I had something weird going on in my calf, but it was ok in the end). While I certainly noticed the uphils, I've done much hillier races, too. One thing's for certain: it definitely wasn't flat (even if it was in places).

    You packed a #holotta fun into your weekend! And your son was definitely very sweet.

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    1. The downhill did not bother me either (I actually wanted more of it). I've run much steeper downs. Regardless, it was very scenic and I enjoyed it. This kid is always a good sport.

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  9. When I ran in Boulder, it was so challenging! It was my first experience feeling the effects of higher altitude. Your race and adventures after look so amazing and beautiful!

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    1. You can definitely tell the difference. My HR was extreme going slow early on -- when it shouldn't have been.

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  10. What an amazing and beautiful racecation! I love that you were able to meet up with so many bloggers and have a great race!

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    1. Put this race on your list. The area is stunning!

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  11. The entire weekend was so much fun and Dylan was such a good sport to hang with his mom and her old lady friends! Mile 3 was a stinker for me. There's always more uphill than I bargain for in these "downhill" races.

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    1. I'm glad I didn't know how much uphill there was. Being ignorant sometimes has it advantages! There won't be many more opportunities to spend time alone with my grown kids. Gotta take them when you can.

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  12. What a great recap! I only wish I was there to run it with you! I figured the altitude would make it tough. I loved all your pictures and I hope to do this one next year!

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    1. I wish this one had worked out for you. You would have loved it! It's definitely one I would repeat if given the opportunity. I think it would be an excellent marathon!

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  13. Wow, that sounds like such a fun race - but yes, hilly! I tend to run on mostly flat courses. I did explore some cave-like things when I was in Costa Rica - we went rappelling and I screamed the whole time. So scary!

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    1. I've never tried rappelling. I'm not sure I'd be very good at it. There was plenty of screaming during our zip lining. LOL.

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  14. I loved reading your race recap and congrats on finishing another half. Your recap brought back such fond memories of the two years Bill and I lived in Utah. It certainly is a beautiful state!

    Thanks for the linkup!

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    1. I think there would be an almost unlimited supply of outdoor adventures in that area. I'd love to hike similar trails on a regular basis.

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  15. I enjoyed meeting you and your son! He is a GREAT kid!!

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    1. It was great meeting you! Thanks for your helping in procuring a restaurant Saturday night. (It was hard to believe how difficult that was. LOL) And, the zip lining pictures too.

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    2. Oh my goodness, that was hilarious! Who would have thought about margaritas with NO tequila?!?!

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    3. I'm so glad we found an acceptable place! Although, your food wasn't the best.

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  16. Dallas is 400-something feet, and when I signed up for my Boulder race, I thought I'd be coming up to elevation for that. I'm glad I was almost acclimated because I know coming up from Dallas would've slowed me down.

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    1. I wonder how long it takes to truly acclimate? You don't feel like you are fully there?

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  17. You were booking down those hills, across the flats and yes ...even up those hills girl! I loved finally meeting my "southern twin" in person and your sweet middle son to boot! He really was a trooper. :)

    Looking forward to our next adventure!

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    1. It was awesome to meet my southern twin. It's too bad we couldn't spend more time together. There's always the next adventure!

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    2. I know! I wish we had had more time as well but I'm definitely looking forward to the next adventure! And ....I saw your comment above that Utah would've made for a great full ....hmmmm!

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    3. I think so! The downhill wasn't too steep. And, we'd get more of it by running the marathon since it doesn't flatten out until you return to town.

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    4. Well then, I think we should consider a trip to Utah next June for a full!!!

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  18. I visited Salt Lake City several years ago and was stunned at how beautiful Utah was - and your pictures show how that beauty extends to the entire state! What a great adventure for you and your son; glad you had a good race, too!

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    1. I didn't really know what to expect. I'm so glad I took the opportunity to visit such a gorgeous area! I think I may be addicted to hiking now...with nowhere appealing to hike.

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  19. Sounds like an awesome trip! So cool you spent it with your middle son too! Great pics! My hubby has a friend we visited a while back in Utah and I would love to go to there again.

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    1. It's such a great place for outdoor adventure!

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  20. You girls look like you had so much fun! And how cute is it that your son tagged along? Love it!

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    1. Yeah, he gets the Good Sport award! He such an easy-going kid anyway.

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  21. Looks like a beautiful place to visit and run! We have a 12 mile race here in Baltimore that is point to point and advertised as "downhill" but there are plenty of uphills are well. I still find it to be a challenging course!

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    1. The hills didn't feel like 459 of up. They certainly weren't steep. I've noticed in other runs, having mountain all around you tricks your mind with the gain or loss.

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  22. What a beautiful race! I ran CIM which was net down hill but had some rollers... tricky tricky! I did some cave exploring in Nashville a few years ago and that was pretty fun! Glad you had a great time :)

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    1. I've heard some great things about CIM! Having mountains all around messes with your mind. You really don't know up from down! LOL.

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  23. What an incredible racecation! Those views both during and after the race are absolutely incredible! And ziplining is such a fun way to celebrate crossing the finish line. You now have me wanting to add Utah to my bucket list!

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    1. I was very pleased with all the outdoor activities in this area, as well as the scenic course. Definitely put in on your list.

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  24. What a great race experience. So cool that you got to hike and zipline. Serious FOMO here.

    Hopefully we'll have a #holottafun in Vegas. I wish I could spend more time there. I arrive at 11 am on Friday and leave at noon on Monday. What about you?

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    1. I haven't book our flights yet. The hubs is going with so me we may stay a few extra days.

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  25. Oh my goodness, those photos are just stunning. What a gorgeous location for a race. And hiking and ziplining afterwards is so perfect. Jealous. Congrats on another race under your running belt!

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    1. A was very happy about the location and how many outdoor activities were in the area!

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  26. 400+ feet is definitely not nothing, but I guess if you're already at 5,000+, it's all relative.

    The trip looks like a blast, and I LOVE that medal. Definitely a race I would consider in the future!

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    1. It's funny you mention it being relative. With those mountain around, you really can't tell anything about the hills. It's weird! The medal spins!

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  27. What a beautiful trip! Utah is such a stunning state! Thank you for sharing your recap of the race and the adventures you had !! Congratulations on another strong half marathon.

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    1. I would love to be able to go back! There are so many cool things to do in the area.

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  28. Sounds like an awesome run! I would totally do that one sometime especially since my mother and sister-in-laws live in Utah! Love that you guys got jackets instead of shirts too! So great that you met up with other bloggers and had lots of fun adventures after the race!

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    1. I have no doubt you'd like hiking in that area too. I'm very happy with the jacket. I needed something like that.

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  29. Congratulations on your race and the scenery looks gorgeous! If the only issue was grabbing water and that weird elevation gain, I think it was a good day. Plus it's awesome to get a jacket instead of a shirt because I feel like every race does shirts so we all have too many. The medal is gorgeous as well.

    I hope you have a good post-race recovery and safe travels!

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    1. I was very pleased with the jacket. I think it will be a great choice for running or cycling!

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  30. Wow, I love these views! I would totally run the 400+ft elevation with the views. Sounds like an amazing race!!!

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    1. There was plenty of downhill to compensate for the uphill. No complaints, really. I was just surprised to see how much "up" we ran.

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  31. Your pictures are beautiful! Looks like you had a great time!

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    1. It's definitely a beautiful location and well executed race.

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  32. I had a tough time acclimating to altitude during our move, so I'm super impressed with your finish time!

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    1. I've been at much higher altitude and raced at much higher altitude. This didn't feel horrible, I was just aware of it and do think it did affect my performance somewhat.

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  33. I actually won an entry to this race but ended up not being able to go. Bummer. Looks like it was so much fun! 459 feet is a lot of up if I'm promised a downhill race...but if it's supposed to be a hilly race that could easily be just one hill around here ;)

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    1. I'm sorry you were unable to go! It did seem like a lot of UP for a downhill race. That's about the same elevation we get in our hometown half marathon.

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  34. Sounds like a great race! Your pictures are lovely. I'm so glad you all got to run together!

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    1. It was nice to meet bloggers I had never met and reconnect with bloggers I had. I hope to cross paths with you one day!

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  35. You got some great pictures! I loved every minute of it! and your son was definitely a good sport! Thanks for sharing the weekend with me! Running friends rock!

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    1. It was great spending time with you MB! I'm glad we've got another opportunity coming in a few months!

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  36. Wow! Those pictures are stunning! I love running with friends - last year, one of my friends was running the Chicago Marathon and three of us ran the 5K the day before together. It was so much fun and I hope we'll plan our next adventure together soon!

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    1. That does sounds like fun. Chicago is such a pretty city!

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  37. Wow, Utah looks stunning! Sounds like you had a lot of fun times on your trip :)

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    1. It is always fun to chat about running (and other stuff) with fellow blogging friends.

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  38. Ahhh so cool that you were able to meet up with fellow bloggers! Your photos are beautiful and really make me want to visit Utah! Congrats on another great race!

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    1. We were blessed with great weather and stunning views. It's a great area for outdoor adventures.

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  39. Congratulations!! This looks like such an amazing course - I've run at high elevation in Colorado, it was a challenge but so much fun. I love all your photos, what a beautiful place to run and hike!

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    1. I've run in Colorado as well. That race was at a much higher elevation and had steeper downhill grades. It too had gorgeous views!

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  40. Gorgeous pictures, Holly! Looks like a beautiful course to run! And how fun to meet up with more blogging runners :) Keep up your racing! My next race won't likely be til next Spring so I'm living through your and other blogger-runners' race experiences :)

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    1. I don't have much on the schedule until fall due to our heat and humidity. You have the best reason of all not to race.

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  41. That's a stunning view of the course! Really love the waterfalls. I would have imagined it must have been very refreshing.

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    1. We loved the two waterfalls we hiked to, although we didn't get in the water. We could have though. It was hot during the day.

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