After a year off, the Climb to the Castle returned to Whiteface Mountain on October 3rd. I drove up on Saturday with some misgivings. Two weeks earlier, I DNF’d the Macedonia Brook 25 kilometer trail race in Connecticut. I ran my plan in the hills and on the flats. But there were two brutally steep, technical downhill bits where I was so slow I didn’t feel like I was racing. I dropped halfway through. I drove home wondering if I was done.
After collecting my bib and buying groceries, I headed to the hostel. As it turned out the the Saint Lawrence University women’s nordic ski team was staying there. They were racing the Climb to the Castle to top off a long training weekend.