Medoc Trail Marathon – A special kind of race
(Medoc and I)
Big city races do a great job of handling the masses. For the most part these races go off without a hitch. Thousands of people run their fastest or their first marathon along with 20,000+ of their closest friends. The crowd support and the work of the 1000+ volunteers propel the runners and make the events operate smoothly. With all the clock work type happenings of mega races it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Then there are the smaller marathons that go out of their way to make their races special. These races are often much smaller in size, locally run by dedicated runners and volunteers who go out of their way to offer support you just can’t get on a large scale. At smaller such events, it’s easy to feel like the race was put on just for you. Medoc trail marathon is one of those races.
When you sign up to run Medoc it’s more than just another race you’re joining a community. A race at Medoc mountain state park is a gathering of like-minded people who enjoy running, enjoy a challenge and work hard to make your marathon something to remember. To make the race special each Medoc runners gets their own specialty chosen trail name which is emblazoned upon a unique race bib. During the race the runners are challenged by a tough looped course but well placed volunteers are close enough to help with any race related need that may arise. The workers are always upbeat and ready to help out to ensure each racer has a great finish. After successfully covering three laps of the park and avoiding an encounter with the “Medoc” monster himself the finished chute is a welcome sight. Each finisher is presented with a large and heavy Medoc medal sure to capture the spirit (and namesake) of the race. To recover and refuel a victory meal (bowl of awesome potatoes soup) and snacks are waiting. For a small race Medoc has all the runner support and swag to rival even the largest of marathons.
Medoc also has Rocks, Roots, Hills and the Legend itself.
(Part of the Run4Life, 24 hour team
Medoc has Rocks – Medoc is run over a three loop course which is partially fallen leaves, pine straw, dirt and grass. The other portions of the trail provide the challenge. There are the rocks which are believed to have been strategically placed by Medoc himself. These rocks jump up and snag your toe at just the
right wrong place and time. Other rocks are set up on edge ready to move about when you have selected them for a safe landing spot. Medoc’s favorite rocks are those that stab at the bottom or sides of your feet when you’re lucky enough to catch a sharp edge. If you do happen to fall, the rocks are there to ensure you remember your little tumble.
(Medoc Rocks..some say he plays with these at night)
Medoc has Roots – If the rocks are not tripping you up…keep an eye on the tree roots which meander all along the course. The roots around Medoc tend to grow in height and gnarliness with each passing loop. On lap one it’s easy to navigate the rooted sections avoiding any missteps but on successive loops it becomes almost unavoidable to not trip at some point. Laps two and three demand that you stay keenly focused on your next step unless you want to risk a flying encounter with the ground or a random tree. Once pronate on the ground, runners have recalled hearing Medoc laughing in the distance.
(Medoc roots…they get bigger as the miles get longer)
Medoc has Hills They sneak up on you….and some just punch you in the face. Medoc has hills, do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Most are calm roller types with mild elevation changes, some cause you to down shift into a lower gear and the 25 step staircase climb, well it sucker punches you each and every time. Let’s not forget the equally crushing decent, step by step down another staircase. A course preview map lists the elevation change at roughly 350 feet per lap…but somehow it feels like much more than that.
(Medoc stairs…they do not lead to heaven)
And Medoc has….well Medoc. (From The Race Web Site) In the early 70’s a young doctor by the name of Leroy lived just outside of Hollister, North Carolina. The young man was not only a doctor, he was also a rising star on the road racing scene. Whenever he was not in the office, you would see him running the roads around Hollister training for the next big event. Doc Leroy, as he was called, was obsessed with his diet; always trying to find what foods, herbs, and fluids would help prepare him best for his next race. You could often find Leroy trying to eat just about anything he could get his hands on hoping to find the secret ingredient to make him faster. Being a doctor, Leroy often wondered if a blended liquefied version of some foods would be digested faster and therefore provide a quicker burst of energy.
Long before the invention of GUs or Clif Shots, Leroy and his trusty blender were always mixing up a new concoction. Originally, Leroy would use things like fresh fruit and coffee beans. Before long he then started adding new things like pine sap, and tree slugs. Sadly, he didn’t stop there.
Doc Leroy eventually opened up his medicine cabinet and began to experiment. Much to his delight he seemed to have found the magic formula. He became faster and stronger. His pace dropped by 50 seconds, and his endurance seemed endless as he would complete eight hour runs and never tire. He became addicted to his formula and drank more and more. Over time his muscles began to swell, and he had terrible headaches, but he still couldn’t stop.
Finally one day Leroy’s body simply had enough and swelled beyond recognition. He literally burst out of his clothing, and one eye swelled shut. Even his tongue swelled to the point where he could barely speak. About this time a patient of Doc Leroy’s entered his office. She screamed with fear as she saw the disfigured beast in front of her. “What did you do with the doctor?” she shouted!
Leroy tried to speak, but couldn’t because of the swelling in his tongue. He wanted to tell her that he was the doctor, but the only sounds he could muster, were “ME DOC! ME DOC!”
The town folks stormed the doctor’s office with torches and pitch forks and chased this creature that they now called “Medoc” out of his office, and into the nearby mountains. Leroy could hardly believe what had happened. Angry and frustrated, he has lived in the mountains of Hollister ever since. The area is now known as Medoc Mountain. Leroy (now referred to as Medoc), is rarely seen. He normally only comes out after dark to hunt and occasionally run. Some believe he is still searching for the magic formula to turn him back into a normal man.
(Coolest race bib yet…)
Medoc is a well-run, great supported marathon for all competition levels. What Medoc is not is easy. If you up for the challenge, if you up for a good time and if you want to join the Medoc family…come run in the woods of Hollister, North Carolina and earn your trail name.