|Logo design. Not my strong suit, but I was happy with this one. :)|
|The kids LOVE traveling with their suitcases. Even for a night.|
The weather was a little on the chilly side, so we hung in the car till almost race time. Then it was time to go!
|A little national anthem with the color guard. Very moving and patriotic.|
|Quick hug from Andrea-- friend and race director.|
|Ready to run-- so excited!|
|Off I go!|
The trail meandered up and up. The trail itself was nice. Not too technical but enough variety to keep you always aware. And... I can't help but say that I just love running out in nature. It's harder. It's slower. But it has its own rewards.
About 2.5 miles in we hit an aid station, fully stocked, but kept on running. The trail winds up some more, then down, then more up. It was constantly changing and that was nice. After winding up, you circle around and come back down, hitting the same aid station about mile 6.5.
While I was out and about on the trail, there were some other (equally as important) races starting down below. (1) the 25k, then (2) THE KIDS RACE.
|Off they go!|
|Run, Hunter, Run!|
|Linc trying to catch his older bro!|
|Medals and certificates! Thanks for the fun times for my little men!|
|I think my favorite picture from the day|
|Windy, exposed part. Brutal, but beautiful.|
|Winding my way up to Tallyn's.|
|More climbing-- yay|
The second loop was a pretty lonely loop in that I was nowhere near anyone. By this time, everyone had spread out and evidently I wasn't doing anyone's pace. The good news is that I was doing better than most people thus far in that I was passing people without anyone passing me. My legs were doing ok, but I could tell by my pace that my nutrition was off. Real off. So I started playing with things till I found my Perpeteum solids and they seemed to be doing the job.
Before I knew it, I was on the top of the second climb and heading back to the finish. With only about 5 miles to go, I felt good... and fast. I think it is the only time all day that I saw some sub-8 paces on my Garmin... At the last aid station, about 2 miles from the finish, Beth was there with a walkie-talkie and I asked her to make sure Ross knew I was coming, so she did.
When I reached the end, the boys were there, waiting to run into the finish with me.
I was happy to be done. The course measured a little long (33 miles vs. 31), but the longer run actually worked in even better for my training. And besides, it's not an ultra if it's measured accurately, right? It was a long day and I learned a lot-- basically about my nutrition, heart rate and climbing pace-- all of which I plan to focus on improving in the next 34 days.
The race itself was a HUGE success!!! It had an awesome trail and course, well-stocked aid stations, friendly volunteers, fun swag (did I mention the gloves and t-shirt I got!), plenty of activity for the spectators, just overall good day! I am so proud of my friends, Andrea and Steve, for putting it on and I look forward to many other great events by them.