I will start with weather since that was a rather serious issue even before the start. Mid week, last week, the forecast for Saturday in Huntsville, TX, location of the Rocky Raccoon 100 on was for sunny skies and warm temperatures. Then on Friday morning the forecast was changed to a chance of thunderstorms early and showers later. By Friday afternoon there was an 80% chance of thunderstorms early and rain most of the day and turning colder overnight. By Saturday morning at 4:15 a.m. as I sat in the hotel room getting ready for the race I checked the weather channel. Heading directly for Huntsville, Texas was a very long line of severe thunderstorms with a cold front behind. I decided it was time to change a few plans.
I intended to start the race in my new Brooks PureGrit trail shoes but decided to start wearing my old Mountain Masochists instead. The start/finish is located at the Dog Wood Pavilion and we would cross through there every 20 miles so that is the drop bag I put the Brooks into, along with clean, dry socks.
As I sat in the car about 5:00 a.m. waiting for the start I was watching almost continuous lightning moving closer very rapidly from the west. About 5:30 it hit. It stormed so hard that I could not even hear the radio. By 5:50a.m. about 10 minutes to the start of the RR, the severe line of storms was past but it was still raining very hard. Four hundred runners tried to huddle under the tents that made up the core of the Dog Wood aid station, but there was just not enough room. As the race started it was still raining hard but thankfully the lightning had moved away. The rain continued to fall for much of the morning but I have no idea when it actually ended. I dropped my heavy, hooded rain jacket at Dam Nation aid station at mile 6 on the first lap so it must have eased up quite a bit by then. It did continue to rain lightly for a while after that.