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RACE REPORT: Monumental Challenge HALF MARATHON 10/07/07
DateRaceDistancePaceTotal TimeWeather
10/07/07 Monumental Challenge Half Marathon
(Black Hills, SD - Deadwood Mickelson Trail)
Race Photos
Area Scenery
13.1 mi 10:17/mi 02:14:44 40°F, drizzle/rain, humid, Overcast

This was a fun race, but I was not prepared for the hills. The first 6 miles were uphill with no downhill.

I had really hoped to run less than 10 min/mile on this race. I thought I would do well because of the cooler weather. I didn't realize how much uphill running there was. Take a look at the ascent numbers in the table above. My speed didn't improve until we started going downhill.

The thing I really like about this race was the ability of friends/family members to follow along in their cars. The trail was up on a ridge with a road below. And the race had so few people that it was easy for friends/family members to follow along.

The race itself was not well organized although I heard that they had obtained the necessary permits this year and it is supposed to be better. The "glitches" that occured during this race were:

  • The race directors did not obtain the necessary permits in time to run the originally planned course starting at either Mt. Rushmore or Crazy Horse. Instead, they had to change the course to run along the Deadwood Michelson Trail. However, this trail is absolutely beautiful and I didn't mind the change one bit.
  • The directions to the course start were not clear or well-marked. We could not find it the day before, so I originally planned to take the event bus.
  • The bus taking the runners to the start had some logistic issues and several of the runners did not get to the race start until 30 minutes after the race started. Luckily, my husband found out from one of the race volunteers that we could drive to the start and how to get there. One of the race organizers said they would fix the problem next year.

However, I would run this race again just because it is such a beautiful area! And there is a lot of history and beauty on the Michelson Trail. I would love to have long well-kept trail like that to run on here. It would be great to be able to do long runs on a softer surface and be surrounded by majestic trees and wildlife.