The 108 miles I rode, ran, walked, and crawled during PMBAR and PRAR somehow gave me a case of runner's knee so in the two weeks leading up to the 55.5 I wasn't running at all and thought for sure there was no way I could run the race or even start it. With stretching and rest I found I could run some so I decided I would start the race knowing that I wasn't going to be able to finish. Going into the race certain to DNF was an interesting way to start and even though I had secret hopes of pushing through the pain and finishing I knew that wouldn't be happening. I used a drop bag for the first time ever and put two PBRs in a ziplock bag filled with ice so I would have something to drink while I waited for a ride and sent them a head to the Turkey Pen parking lot you knowing that is as far as I would be going.
The mountain bikers left at 10am and then myself and 3 others started the run 15 minutes later with two others having started running at 8am. I started up Black running with Yuri and was surprised when we caught the first rider before we even got to Thrift Cove. We caught a couple more bikes on the way up to Hickory knob and with my knee already starting to hurt I urged Yuri to go on ahead without me. From there on I would spend the rest of the race going back and forth with a group of racers on bikes. I would catch and pass them on the climbs and then they would do the same to me on the descents. Turkey Pen Gap trail is like a sinister game of shoots and ladders with the trail either going straight up or straight down so our game of leap frog went on and on. I got to the aid station at Turkey Pen Gap feeling okay. I could have kept running up to Yellow Gap but knew I wouldn't be able to handle the descents on Pilot Rock and Black Mtn. and after much contemplation pulled the plug there as I'd previously planned.
So what would lead me to start a race I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish? Well, first of all Pisgah Productions puts on great events and I figured a DNF would be better than not starting at all and since this was the first year for runners at the race I thought one more starter might tempt more people to give it a try next year. And even though I only made it ten miles or so Black > Turkey Pen is still a good run and nothing could have been better. Thanks Pisgah Productions!