It’s been just about two weeks since I ran the Conquer the Mountain Half Marathon in Franklin, NC. Funny! When I bought my Subaru in NY, the guy asked me if I knew where Franklin was as he was heading there for a wedding in June. I had no idea and had never even heard of Franklin. Now, I’ve been there several times. At this particular point in time, Franklin is a smoky mess. While it was smoky two weeks ago, it was not so bad as to impede running.
The race starts at a town park on Ulco Drive and heads out the greenway. Great way to start a race that is conquering a mountain. My Garmin started this time with no issues. Oddly, it was showing four bars of power but cut out just about 10 miles. After the greenway, the race runs back past the starting point and heads out on open roads. If you are not use to running on roads with traffic, this is probably not a race for you. This first stretch of road is rather busy. Eventually, the traffic dissipates and the roads get further from town.
The mountain is real. The elevation may not really look like much on the map but some parts are steep and other parts are a long, slow uphill. I tried to work the downhills as much as I could to make up time lost on the uphills. I passed people on the uphills because I am a hill runner. These same people, usually regardless of how fast I let go, passed me back on the downhills.
Someone had come out and written chalk messages on the greenway and on the mountain. It was cool to see things and reminded me of the Mountain Goat 10 miler in Syracuse.
After the race, there were baked potatoes with many toppings and other goodies such as fruit, cookies, Gatorade and other drinks. The awards were great! I placed third in my age group and came home with a finisher’s dog tag and a ceramic/clay medallion as an age group award.
I thoroughly enjoyed this race and will look for more races put on by Bringing It to Life Productions! I hope to get back next fall to run this again.