Run number three is always a tough one because the legs are sore and stiff and because mentally you know you are not even halfway finished. This year proved no exception. The first mile of what I anticipated would be a five mile climb met my expectations. My legs were stiff and dead as I trudged up Mount Mitchell. The first mile seemed like an eternity and the idea of four more just like it was not very appealing. Then something miraculous happened, the road flattened and slowly started to descend. My pace quickened from ten minutes per mile to closer to seven. I was able to open my stride and the long, steady downhill did much of the work for me. Much to my surprise the remaining four miles featured more flat and downhill running than uphill running. What an amazing and welcome surprise.... maybe even a Festivus Miracle! I cruised past the top of Mount Mitchell right before my leg ended. This is likely my last sub-40 minute run of the 2011 R4R. My finishing time was 39:24. Two more runs to go....the sunlight will be a welcome companion.