Did the Dunn Forest side of my upcoming 50K race course yesterday. A couple observations:
1) The first climb: a good balance of steep and long drawn out stuff. I'll be "marching" (code for fast hiking) a bit in there. Especially the portion after the bridge in the beginning of the Powder House trail. It just doesn't make since to use all the energy it would require to run up that so early on in the race.
2) After the 1st climb: cruising! all the way to the bottom of New/Old Growth Trails. Sweet section to make up time spent getting/walking up portions of the first climb.
3) Bottom of New Growth Trail to Lewisburg Saddle (Aid Station 1): March the steep/short section. Run the road to AS1.
4) Rd. 500 to Section 36 trail (Aid Station 5 to PH trail junction): Cruising! Minor grade here and there but this is a great final stretch.
5) Section 36/Peavy Peak Traverse: Hill is substantial, but brief. I'll crank it if I've got anything left because when it tips downward its a pleasure all they way back to the cabin.
Also, with regard to diet/water. It was cold, certainly colder than it will be in May. I only drank one bottle in 13 miles. I had a couple gels for experimentation. Hammer (Vanilla) was fine, noticed minor stomach ache briefly after finishing it. GU (also Vanilla) with caffiene was nice towards the end, felt a boost like that of a cup of coffee. Forgot the Shot blox but was out less time than I anticipated anyway.