The original plan had been to run the Sean O’Brien 50 K but once we realized we had missed the sign up we had to find a plan B. I hate to even call this race a plan B because it was a really cool race!
The first thing about this race that was great was the responsiveness of the Race Director. I had emailed him to ask if the race sells out and I heard back from him within a couple hours! Love that! The day before the race they had packet pick up at their house. It was very obvious how much they enjoyed putting the race on and how well they new the course. I usually do bigger races, so I never get any contact with the people putting on the race. Not the case here at all!
It is a local race for use which meant we didn’t have to get up too crazy early to get to the race on time, WINNING!
I got up, got dressed in my new Coeur Sports running kit (Fleet Foxes) and put on my 2015 Coeur Team tattoo (squee) and we were out the door by 6:00 AM.
Stuart was running the 50K so he started at 7:00 and my race went off at 7:30.I saw him off and then got to see him one last time because the first loop of the race runs all the runners back through the start/finish line area so the spectators can see them before they set off. Very cool!
Once Stuart was on his way, I finished getting ready and lined up to start. I had never set foot on the course so I was a little blind to what I would be running but the race website had a LOT of good information on the course. Race directors, if you are reading this, ALWAYS include a Garmin link of the course! ALWAYS!!! Bandit had this for all the courses and it was really helpful.
Regardless of seeing the course details prior the the race, it was harder than I expected. It was quite warm which made it tough, and the downhill sections were a little technical for me so that slowed me down quite a bit. The thought that kept me going was that after this, I get to hang up my trail shoes! I really wanted to trail run all year but once I spent a lot of time doing it I realized that it isn’t for me right now. I need the variety of multi-sport.
As the race wore on I did my best to just keep running whenever I could and walking with a purpose when I couldn’t. The top 4 50K runners passed me and were all super polite and friendly! Very cool! I was playing cat-and-mouse with one runner. She caught me at one aid station, then I caught her at the last one. I did everything I could to keep her from catching me again and she was really close when we turned down for the last tricky descent. The descent was so tricky that I just did what I could to move as fast as possible and not fall. Once on the home stretch I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t want to get caught at the very end; and I didn’t!
I had had high hopes of placing at this race but it was much more difficult than I had anticipated. I finished 10/16 in my age group in 4:33:14 and 19/52 in my gender. I was a little disappointed but I know I did all I could out there. You can find my Garmin data here.
I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenging trail run. The scenery was beautiful, the course was challenging, the volunteers were amazing, and the organizations was great. The only minor bobble was there a section of the run where you had to run into a neighborhood before you got to the back section of the race. It wasn’t marked and a few of us were very confused until someone who knew the course told us the way. But other than that it was awesome! When I get more pictures I will post them.
My focus now switches 100% to Ironman to prepare for Ironman Boulder in August! I am very excited to have my coach back to help me prepare for Boulder.