7 Sisters 2015 Race Recap

Courtesy of http://7sisterstrailrace.com/
What do you do the day after running 3 laps of an obstacle course race located on the beach, covering approximately 12 miles?  Why you go “run” the 7 Sisters Trail Race of course!
Billed as the “Hardest Up/Down Race” by Runners World Magazine on their America’s Best Trail Races list.  With a cutoff time of 12:00 for the turnaround.  Whelp, make that 11:30!  Apparently I missed the posts on their Facebook page about the change in cutoff.  What was already going to be a challenge, I had been freaking out for days about now making the cutoff, and I just lost 30 minutes, was now something I seriously thought I would DNF.
I arrived early with plenty of time to register, use the bathroom, and do what I really love to do: visit with people!  I knew quite a few people running, several who had come out just to spectate the start, and it was a fantastic way to spend the morning.  It wasn’t long before we were lining up, I missed the group photo, and we were off.  It is a matter of yards before the trail takes a turn and we are going UP.  The ups and the downs are no joke.
Up we go.  Photo courtesy of Heather Gannoe
http://www.relentlessforwardcommotion.com
It was hot.  I was sunburned from the day before.  I had a plan to drink every time my Runkeeper spoke to me which was every 15 minutes and every mile.  This worked well.  I would eat something every 1-2 times she spoke to me and ingest a salt tab every hour or so.  I never bonked.  I never stopped sweating.  Despite my legs feeling brutalized, I never actually felt bad.
Top of the first section of the ascent after the cutoff.  I MADE THE CUTOFF!!!

I was really worried about making the cutoff.  Luckily for me, despite saying 11:30, they seemed to have adjusted the cutoff to be 2:30 hours from the time your wave started.  I made it, with mere minutes to spare.  I had just enough time to get some fruit, refill my pack, rinse my hands, and get back on the course.  I never got a photo of the view from the Summit House but it was beautiful.  The volunteer at the top told me if I hurried, I should catch a pair of females who were just ahead of me. That running together keeps you motivated.  So I moved, as fast as I could.  I finally caught up to them!

Heidi, Marie, and Cat.  What amazing people.  I had a great time with them.  Heidi was struggling, so I did what I do best.  I figured out where she was hurting, helped get her moving, rubbed out her butt, and got her to smile.  Marie was moving slowly as she had rolled her ankle, bad enough to slow her down but not so bad she didn’t make the cutoff!  Cat was amazing. Turns out we have mutual friends. After staying with them for quite a while, I had to keep moving as my legs were wanting to tighten up.  I could hear them off and on and when I came in to the last aid station, signaling we had two miles to go, I was able to see them come in.  Heidi, despite her pain, was adamant that she was going to finish.  I had to hug her before moving on again.

The LAST tiny bit of downhill before rounding the corner to the finish!

Luckily they took off not much later and we were able to semi stay together the rest of the race. Coming down the last hill together and seeing the finish line. We all dug deep and gave everything we had left to give.  My friends cheering at the finish and willing to hug my sweaty nasty self was amazing.  Thank you all for the support.  I cannot wait for next year.

WE DID IT!

My official results! 429. Hannah Hawley, 33, VT 5:51:23 out of 434 finishers, 471 started.

Recovery #chocolatemilk with my 7 Sisters hat.  That pattern? That’s the elevation!
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