The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce hosted the fourth annual Mountain Madness 15k trail run at Fausett Farms on Saturday, March 26.
With clear skies, cool temperatures and strong winds, runners had the chance to face a challenging course in good condition.
The trail totaled nearly 1,800 feet in elevation and presented runners with unique geographic challenges that included significant changes of incline and decline.
Shortly after the hour mark, top finisher Allen Bray came through the finish line after wading through the final obstacle of a calf-high stream.
“There’s obviously three really big hills that you have to tackle, but even between them, there are so much up and down little punchy stuff,” Bray said. “It’s very hard to get any kind of rhythm. When you think it’s about to get easy, you turn the corner and it’s another really steep short uphill that knocks you off your game.”
Despite intermittent rains from the days leading up to the race, the course drained well and had only a few trouble spots of mud and water to run around, according to Bray.
For him, the biggest challenge on the course was the downhill portions that had some loose leaves and gravel, as well as some slickness from how steep that portion was.
The top female finisher was Bray’s wife, Sally, who has run the race with Allen all four years.
“We’ve run it every year and it’s funny some of the hills that you forget are as steep as they are,” Sally Bray said. “I thought it was pretty much downhill the last mile or so, but then there are a few quick little steep hills that are challenging right there at the end.”
After the race finished, all runners were rewarded with a Moe’s Southwestern Grill lunch sponsored by Medical Plaza 400, while the Brays were given the top finisher's prize of a snack cooler courtesy of presenting sponsor Northside Hospital Forsyth.