This is late but I wanted to write a short note about this race to remember strategy for next year. I typically don't like to pay for marathons but this is one of the good ones that's worth it; fun and technical and hard.
The weather was absolutely perfect- 50 or 60 degress; ran in shorts/tank top. I believe I made it through with just a handheld water bottle and a small bottle in my Nathan pack.
The majority of the course is single track and hard to pass people for at least the first 5-10 miles, it seems. I'm not fast on the uphill but I am on the downhill so it was super frustrating to be stuck behind slow people for miles, especially on the downhill sections when I could be going fast and passing others. But, there is seriously no space to pass so if you tried, you would force the other person to kind of stop to let you by. PLUS, you would annoy them because everyone wanted to pass, but I don't think many would because they were being nice.
Welp, I was feeling good and energetic, the weather was awesome, and so I decided to pass early on; if I hadn't then I would have been stuck in the back forever. It sucked in the beginning because the group of people I had just passed on a downhill passed me on the uphill two minutes later. We leapfrogged for just a couple of times and then I finally was able to stay in front. Well worth it. I think I ended up passing around 50 people and had a PR on the course; 4:35. So I guess for next time, I should start closer to the front or just remember to pass people even though you feel guilty.