Each bench along the trail looked so at peace. They faced the sparkling Lake Ouachita positioned besides the pine needle covered single-track within the Ouachita National Forest. To witness the changing seasons, the twinkling stars within the dark night-time hours, the majestic lightning storms, these benches must be the envy of the forest.
The entire Hanenburg tribe made the trip up to west central Arkansas for the LOViT 100 km located a short drive west of Hot Springs within the Ouachita National Forest. A new race by experienced RDs, Rachel and Dustin Speer. They have interest in turning this race into a 100 miler but I hope they keep some shorter distances as well. Too pretty of an area not to showcase it to more running folks.
The course basically consists of two different out-and-back segments with Crystal Springs Pavilion the central hub of action. The first out-and-back segment was 42-ish total miles with Hickory Nut “Mountain” waiting as the biggest challenge. The final out-and-back was 20-ish miles that took you up, down, and around Big Bear “Mountain”.
At 8:00 am, the intimate group of 34 runners headed out on some sweet pine needle covered single and double-wide trail within a forest of big pines. The sun was glimmering through the trees, the skies were clear, the temps were cool while standing still but once on the trail, it was darn near perfect conditions.
I positioned myself towards the back and in typical ultra fashion at the word “go!” I started walking. Ultra race starts are about as exciting as they come…assuming you lived in a cave…alone…your entire life up to this moment.
Read the rest of this entry »