Forget the Leap O' DOOM. There are actually a lot of other reasons to run the Lake McMurtry Trail Run this next Saturday.
One good reason is in the very name of the race: Lake McMurtry. This is not a huge lake. You won't see some billionaire's yacht cruising around. You won't have the swimsuit models from Sports Illustrated cavorting along the beach. But you will have stunning views of one of Oklahoma's most beautiful lakes.
Like nice soft single track? You'll get it here. There are miles of trail where you'll never find a rock to trip over. Oh, there are a few roots and stumps here and there, and a couple of brief rocky areas, but for the most part, it's like running the Snake Trail at Turkey Mountain, with fewer rocks.
It's a fast course too. If you have a soft 25K PR, you can shave several minutes off your personal best. Nice wide sections like the one above are few, but look at this gradual downhill, and what a good opportunity it would be to fly by that line of runners you were drafting behind. And speaking of PRs, if you have never ran a 12K, I guarantee you'll PR if you run this one.
Did I mention nice trailz? Would you like some pine needles to go with that? Probably my favorite trail is one with pine needles carpeting the ground. It's also easy to get out there and find yourself in a zen state all alone--just you and the trail. Bliss.
Another good lake view. I can't make any promises about seeing Jake for this race though. If we camp, he will be there. If not, he's staying home and holding down the fort here at Turkey Mountain Central.
This is on the southern loop. Much of the lake you'll see here is narrow inlets that turn into creeks. The trail winds around and even goes up and down a couple of the steep ravines. It's narrow track all the way. The 12K uses this section, and it's the second half for the 25K. Of course, the 50K is two circuits of the 25K course.
Here's a good race strategy for LMTR:
1.Dress in layers. It can be a bit chilly at the start of the race, but it always warms up.
2.Enjoy the aid stations. You'll never go more than 3.5 miles between aid stops, and many of them are 2 miles apart. And they are like AYCE buffets. Good food and crazy fun volunteers.
3. Walk the hills. (Unless you are in contention to win, or get beat by your nemesis.)
4. Soak up the energy from the crowd. Someone once said trail running is not a spectator sport. Not so at our races. It's a specTATUR sport.
5. Immediately upon finishing, be sure to rehydrate.