Whew.... it's over... thank-god. Today was a really tough 31 miles on the trail! For one.... the weather was absolutely nasty with rainy conditions making everything slippery and wet and the temperatures plummeted all day.... secondly... the course was extremely technical! Even with all this said..... The insane "I liked it in a sick sort-a-way" part of me is grinning from ear to ear!
Since this was a point to point 50K.... we all met this morning at the location of where the race would end to be shuttled to the race start via bus. Sergio and I carpooled up and gathered our things for our really long day on the trail and boarded the bus. Once we were at the start.... we stood around for 7-8 minutes and then we were off for our run!
We started out slowly....knowing what was to come on this very hard trail. It rained on and off.... and even started SLEETING about half way through the race! The trail was wet, slippery and covered with leaves..... which kept things interesting the entire time. The first part of the race I enjoyed the company of Kathy Johns, Joanna Crooks and Sergio, but somehow we were separated before the first aid station. I began to run with two other fellas who were enamoured with my knowledge of the trails. It wasn't long before I was separated from them and ran the rest of the race solo. Along the way I would see deer, squirrels, and even chipmunks as I was by myself and didn't alarm them to my presence. While I did take a chance to enjoy the "nature"..... I also closely watched every dangerous step so I did not slip or fall!
Then came a series of creek crossings that I knew would leave my shoes and socks soaking wet! Argh.... I had to toughen up and take the plunge. The first one was ankle deep. The second one was calf deep. The third one was knee deep and in order not to fall further in I had to put my arms in up to my elbows! After that nasty crossing.... I had to regroup on the other side as I seriously thought to myself "Oh my god.... I'm going to get hypothermia!". I was shaking and downright COLD. Fortunately... I had stashed a vest and Smartwool gloves in my pack and I took a minute to put these items on. Thankfully the extra clothing helped warm me up and I was able to slowly press forward. The last creek crossing had a rope to help guide you across.... I did not get wet anywhere above the ankle there.
Finally the end was near after some serious climbing!.... and then came the descent to Hotwater Road!, but it wasn't over yet. I still
had a 1.6 mile run down the mountain on the ROAD! Yes... on the HARD asphalt road! My dogs were barking! After that trek... I ran into the finish area and found out that I had taken 2nd overall female! NICE. My friend Natalie had taken 1st overall female.
Post race I am feeling soreness in my legs from the elevation gain/loss and technicality of the trail. My back and shoulders are also sore from carrying a heavier than normal pack with everything but the kitchen sink in it! Don't you know tomorrow's soreness will only be worse?!
This race was very well organized and if "epic" is what you are looking for.... put it on your list for next year!