I returned to Laurel this June in a much better place than a year ago when I ran it for the first time. I was well-trained, had my nutrition dialed in, had 6 friends running it with me, and 7 friends crewing and pacing. My goal was to improve over last year – when I finished with only 10 minutes to spare before the 22 hour cut off. DFL. I was hoping for a 20 hour finish, but really just wanted to enjoy the day and run happy. I surpassed all expectations – amazing even myself – as I finished a strong, and FUN, race in 18:34 – a PR of over 3 hours. Once again, my whole food Paleo nutrition plan worked perfectly. I ran the first 35 miles on my homemade sweet potato gu and Peter Rabbit Organics fruit pouches. I then switched to eating protein, fat and a few dense carbs at the aid stations with steamed Key West Pink shrimp, chicken sausage, olives and bananas (provided in my cooler by my fabulous crew!). A few Larabars were good in the final miles.
Having friends along the course to run with, friends at the aid stations taking excellent care of me, and a friend to pace me the final 24 miles to the finish made this year’s Laurel Highlands a wonderful, fun experience. Once again, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of the ultrarunning community, to experience the trail magic that happens over 18 hours of running and to have the friends I have – who love this as much as I do.
Enjoy a glimpse into the magnificence that is the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.