This was one of those races that could have went terribly wrong. Devin and I left Loudon at 4:30 as her parents stayed at our house to watch Lennex. We were up to check in at the base by 6:35. We then went back up and ate at the Dairy Bar in Berlin. I had chicken fingers, they were pretty good. We were back to the Royalty Inn and checked in by I think 9ish. 180$ for the room was too much. I got up at 6:15 and ate my White Mac granny bar and then a half bottle of water. We were in the truck and on our way to the MT by 7:00. I would say 6:55 would be a good time to leave next year unless we are right at the base hotel. I found this awesome van right at about 7:30 to put my gear in and was all set. The conditions were supposed to be terrible at the top, but wound up being just fine! Last year was actually worse! Of course I took the side of caution and wore two extra long sleeves around my waste as well as a hat and gloves and didnt need it at all! So the cannon went off, my plan was to just go as easy cardio wise as I could. Leading up to the race I had had an upper respiratory infection and was on antibiotics for two weeks in May. Training could not have been worse. I was expecting the worst for sure. So anyway, I get through mile 1 in 9:02 and I was feeling ok cardio wise, just my legs I knew would become a problem. The goal was to make it to 5 miles without walking. I was also sweating all the way up until mile 6! The extra gear was such a waste of weight! When they kept saying that it was 15 degree wind chill and 60-70 mph gusts, it made me think caution. Last year was actually worse weather in the end! I got to half way in 41:09 and thought, hmmm maybe I can break 1:35 and not have my worst time ever... but there was a long ways to go... My A goal , was break 1:40:00 as the training was just miserable and my left IT band had been real bad the past week. So we keep moving up the mountain and I keep shuffling along. I was able to keep setting little goals each mile, to just not walk and keep moving. I know that if I dont walk, I should never really be worse than 1:35. I passed ZOO in mile 6 I think and just kept plugging. I was never really in terrible cardio stress, but by mile 6 I was really finding it hard to lift my legs. As the minutes kept passing, I kept doing the math and with a mile and a half to go, I thought HOLY crap! I might be able to break 1:30:00. So then I started to hunker down a bit and stay relaxed but moving. When I hit the wall, I saw 1:28:55 or something like that and knew I was gonna make it! I did not have a single walking step at all! Super pumped with this effort and really looking forward to next year! 1:29:16 I think was official time and 96th overall.