Running is for Squirrels. In the Dark. On XC Terrain.

When we asked Craig what he was doing this weekend, he said, “I have been talked into the Hillraiser run tomorrow. Fuck me.” He proceeded to blame his boss, justify this move by saying he hadn’t paid his own entry fee & insisting he could do it high.

So, what’s the Hillraiser? According to organisers:
The Hoorah 2 Heroes Hillraiser (12hr) Endurance Challenge is a timed cross-country trail race, through selected arduous hills and terrain located in Ohio County West Virginia. This year’s race (2022) will consist of 5 person teams plus a minium of one Admin member (responsible for administering the team only not a reserve). The event will run 12 hours non-stop throughout the night. During that time period, the team will complete as many 3.1-mile laps (5Km) as they are able.

Based on what we were able to discern, this is similar to the Tuscazoar 6 Hour relay, in that you go as a team, but your lap count is the total number of combined laps (as in, add up the laps for each team member & that’s your score)… interesting… And Craig was doing this with some folks from work, on a whim, with a broken finger. So Craig should have no problem sending a race report in to HQ for this event, right?

Here’s what he actually sent us, Monday evening:

This was an interesting event. I can honestly say I have never done anything like it. As of Friday around noon when I was asked to do it, my boss was solo. He managed to get myself, 2 other employees and one of there daughters. I was told to get in as many laps as I could get, anything past 1 was a bonus.

Basically the race is set up to run from 6pm Saturday to 6am Sunday, 3.7 miles in the woods and each member that crosses the finish line counts as a lap. You have to go as a team so if 3 are on course, the other 2 have to wait until they get back.

Ropes were placed to aid in climbing and descending the hills as some were incredibly steep and muddy. Our average lap was in the hour 30 min range so not an easy course. Hiking out to the furthest point from the starting line you picked up a playing card that they then wrote your bib number on, this was then checked and marked for 2 other check points to ensure people didn’t cut the course.

At the 6 hour mark I’m part way through my second lap which we finished around 1am. We were swapping the lead with a group of LEO, firefighters and first responders. We were pushing each other all night. At 3:10 we start our last lap (4:30 was the cutoff to send teams out), full group of 5. This would put us in the lead by 1 lap and force the other team to at least send 2 out. We are crossing the half way point and we see 2 lights, it’s them, they have about an hour to finish the course. Unfortunately they did get across the line before 6 and we ended up second out of 12 teams.

We gave it our all, CJ and Brian pounded out 6 laps each, Hailey 5, Todd 4 and I put in 3. I was pumped for 3 as it was my goal (I need to actually train), the ropes were tough with a broken right ring finger. I learned a lot for the next event on hydration and nutrition, and will carry that forward with me. Super proud to rock the Mandalore jersey and pull out a second place as a team.

Lookin’ good, Craig. Hopefully that puke was only hydration mix and gel…

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