Louisville's Lovin' The Hills recap

Another year, another LLTH. I love this event because it keeps me outside during the heart of the winter. It's your best chance around to meet the lunatic fringe of running.

As Jim Straus said to me several years ago at the Iroquois Hill Runners Thanksgiving Day run, after we had looked around and seen hardly anyone our age, "the air is getting thin up here." I have high hopes of winning the 65-70 age group because I saw only one other person that looked to be that old, and I was ahead of him. Thank God Welby Winstead is only 63. Welby, Olga, Scott Reid and I trained together. Welby left me at the 100 yard mark and I never saw him again. Olga was injured and didn't run. Scott opted for flatter routes after running the Yost several weeks ago.

15.2 miles, 3800 feet of climbing. 3800 feet of descending. 20 degrees at the start, and it never warmed up over the mid 20's . Optimum conditions for a long trail run. My guess is that there were about 200 people, equally divided between the 15 milers and the 50K runners. The competitive runners are amazing. I was just entering the Yost (about mile 7.5) when they were leaving . . . 5 miles ahead of me, looking like gazelles. I know what I want to be when I grow up.

This year's highlight for me was a large man running in shorts. He started walking on the flat sections in the first two miles of the course. Then he'd run. He was from Columbus OH. I passed him on the first hill climb. He'd never done LLTH before, and was planning to do the 15 miler. He told me he planned to run a 10 mile race in Columbus the next day. I never saw him again (and I don't pass many people). After 15.2 miles and 3800 feet up and down, I doubt that he'll do the 10 miler tomorrow.

I know I won't.