Like a shark, the Speedgoat must keep moving to stay alive. Even with a bulging disc, suffered during Hardrock this year, he continued to stay active during recovery with long hikes. Karl is back this weekend to run the Pinhoti 100.
In its 4th year, the Pinhoti 100, is one of those secret gems. The point to point course boasts 16,200 ft of climb on mostly (80 miles worth) singletrack trail, gnarled with roots and rocks hidden under fallen leaves. It’s like a day/night-long run in a booby-trapped forest. Karl comments about the race on his site, “It is very well organized to boot. Todd Henderson, the RD does a great job marking and has great aid station personnel.” The race is full with 132 registered runners ready to enjoy the Pinhoti trail as they “make their way over the highest point in Alabama while navigating over rocks, through creeks and across beautiful ridge lines of the Talladega National Forest.” [race website] The high point of the course, Mt Cheaha at 2,413 ft, is also the highest point of Alabama. [Wiki site]
Karl Meltzer set the course record here two years ago with a 17:12. He says, “I feel great. I’ve put in five weeks of training at 10,000′, so I’m ready for sure.” The only person to have come within two hours of that time is John Dove from Georgia, who’s run all three previous installments of the event. John’s best time was en route to his win here last year in 19:01. John will have his hands full trying to fend off Pennsylvanian Angus Repper (past wins at Sawtooth 100 and Virgil Crest 100) and Kentuckian Troy Shellhammer who’s had a nice little season with a 16:12 at Umstead 100 and 7th place at UROC 100k.
For the ladies, Jill Perry from New York looks strong coming off her win last month at Oil Creek 100. Is she recovered enough to muster the power to race hard against young Tennessean Sarah Woerner? Sarah is the defending champion at Pinhoti (24:42) and has put together a solid season filled with sharp performances at a variety of distances.
The weather forecast looks nearly ideal with partly cloudy skies, highs in the 60s and lows around 40. Hope everyone has a safe, fast, and fun race.