Level 1 Athlete Conquers the Rock!

Dina McGrogan reflects on her amazing race at Conquer The Rock and proves that not giving up and having fun along the way will lead you to success and victory!

“Maleia suggested it months ago:  Conquer The Rock, 25K trail run.  “You can do it”, she says.  So I signed up.  Maleia put a training program together for me, and I set to work.  I did as many “hills” & trail runs that I could.  As the event got closer, I couldn’t help but notice what a challenge this was going to be.  Plus, I was the only Level 1 WOL athlete heading to Table Rocky Mountain.  Maleia said she’s level one, but that doesn’t count.

I was nervous, I had no idea what to expect.   I had completed the BNP 2 weeks before, that was only my 2nd trail race ever.   So I got everything together the morning of the race, nutrition, water, G2 and arrived at base camp to pick up my packet.  I saw the other WOL 25K runners, talked, took a few pics, then, it’s time.

I’m off.  The first mile was up a road, a steep road like Nun Street, but longer.  I thought I was in trouble.  Everyone takes off, but I walk, can’t burn my legs before I even get on a trail.  It was so pretty once we got on the trail.  There was some fog initially, but it cleared up after awhile.  The streams were beautiful, the water so clear and cool, the sound so peaceful.  No music to listen to so the sound of nature kept the monkeys out of my head.  I tried to take some pictures, but I struggled getting my phone in and out of my pocket.  The first few miles weren’t too bad.  And then, the climb.  OMG, Nothing in Wilmington could have prepared me for this.  There were boulders, huge boulders that we had to climb up and over, or down and under.  After the out and back, it was like climbing straight up.  I was on my hands, using whatever means I could to keep going.  There were several moments during the first climb that I couldn’t imagine taking one more step, and then I did.  I made it to the top of Pinnacle Mountain, elevation 3425′.  I took some pictures, the view was breathtaking.  I was above the clouds, and it was magnificent.  I got some nutrition/water, recovered a few minutes, then headed down the mountain.  Or so I thought!  I headed down for a bit, only to start climbing again.  More boulders, roots, rocks, trees.  I hit my head on a fallen tree and felt like whiplash!  Again, I was on my hands, using trees/branches to help pull myself up the mount.  At times I couldn’t catch my breathe.  I thought if I stopped, I might not keep going, so I climbed.  Lots of people were heading down, I didn’t bother to ask how much further to the top.  I finally made it to the Table Rock Summit, 3124′, only to find out I had to keep going to get to the darn hole punch!!!  UGH!!  But once I got there, the scenery didn’t disappoint.  It was even more breathtaking.  I recovered a bit, took some pics, headed back to the summit, then down the mountain for real this time.

I actually ran for short periods, and it felt great.  I had to keep my eyes down, but I did see a Black Bear, yep, for real.  It was pretty cool.  Ran over rocks, roots, leaves, mud, through cool water, over the bridge,  through the check in and back on the road.   And i was getting more and more excited, because I was about to finish this race.  I saw my husband at the finish line so I focused on getting to him.  I almost fell into his arms.  I was so excited, happy, exhausted, only to hear I HAD ANOTHER 20 FEET to cross the finish line.  UGH, again.

I did it, I Conquered the Rock.  I ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t, crawled when I had to. I’m a Level 1 WOL BADASS:).

Thanks Maleia, for helping me accomplish this amazing race. ”

  • Dina McGrogan