Two attractions for me do this. First the course is net over 2,000 feet downhill. It should compare to the Light at the End of the Tunnel race and be a fast finish time. The second is that the race starts about two miles from our little White Pass Village Inn condo. So it is a good reason to check up on the place.
The course is point to point. They have shuttles but with Jody's help it is logistically very easy. Up at 6:30, head right out the door and drive about 8 miles to the Silver Beach Resort. Lone volunteer is there in the dark ready early to hand out numbers. I get mine so fast, I am back in the condo before 7 and even try to go back to sleep.
8:40 - Jody drives me to the start. It is cool but not so cold. I decide to leave the jacket in the car. I will wear the hat most of the way, but be quite comfortable with the temperature. Surprised to see Phil who is going to pace Linda for the second half. Then I check in with Miranda, and those are the only people I know here.
My plan is to go for a fast time today.
Start - We head out to the Highway and start running downhill. The course is mostly on Highway 12, on the shoulder, and running with traffic. The Sheriff is out in force, especially at the start. We were told to wear bright colors and I am never in fear of the traffic today. Volunteers are at the couple of places where there is little shoulder. Right from the start it is a screaming downhill.
Mile 1 - 8:19 - So easy to go this fast. My plan was to run at a good pace and try to keep it at 8:30 if I felt good.
Mile 2 - 8:17 average pace
Mile 4 - 8:17 average pace - um this is way faster than I should be going. It is still super downhill and easy. I really should reign it in.
Mile 5 - 8:20 average pace. By far the fastest five miles I have ever done in a marathon. On pace to crush my PR, ha ha.
Mile 5.75 - Right turn off the highway and now a windy road around Clear Lake. There is no shoulder, just a yellow line in the middle of the road. Few cars, but you never know what may come around the bend, I run the tangents as much as I dare.
Mile 8 - Course has ups and downs here. I am running a more normal pace, so I watch my average pace slowly rise. Following a couple in bright green, and I will stay behind them for most of the race. Aid station kid is offering Gu, but also wants to be so helpful and open the packet for you while you wait. I grab one off the table and move on.
Mile 10 - Paved road, but now off the main road and it is a little bumpy.
Mile 11 - Onto a worse road. Dirt and gravel, with giant potholes. My car could not handle this road. We had been promised a steep uphill and I don't think we have hit it yet. There were a couple of longer uphills and maybe one of those was the big one.
Mile 12 - Nope. Here is the hill. It is really steep. I walk most of it, taking the time for a drink and S!Cap. Then out to the Highway and off the rough roads.
Mile 13.1 - Average pace is 8:50. Half finish. Now it is a straight shot down the highway. But as I leave the crowd at the half finish, it starts to get lonely out here. Green shirt couple is a tenth of a mile ahead of me. I will get passed later on and pass a few also, but never run with anyone.
Mile 15 - 8:52 average pace. Legs getting tired. The road is mostly flat with a little up and some down. I am counting the miles to the finish, and it is way too early for that. A bit of pain on my second to smallest toe on my right foot. It will bug me the whole way but not as bad as the legs do.
Mile 16 - My hope that the net downhill road part here would allow me to keep running strong has been shattered. This is tough. My calf muscles hurt and all up and down my legs are just not right. I can run, but really slowly.
Mile 18 - Beautiful course. I can run, but it hurts and is not fun. Walk some, then find that slow groove again. Tunnel is neat, but too dark. Now a really nice downhill. Wish it would stay like this the whole way, but it levels out and has some little uphills too. I won't beat 4 hours
Mile 22 - Jody drives by and gets some pics. Hoping for a 4:10 finish. Being passed is no fun. I try to keep up good spirits. Joke at the aid stations.
Mile 24 - Still slowing. Horrible second half. But I tried. If I run this again, I will not go out so fast at the start. I also know that the course is not as easy as it appears on the map. It has been awesome to run on this course and if I do not run it again, I know that I will make this drive every so often and remember being able to run here.
Mile 26 - I can see the finish and it looks very far away. I speed up some, but don't over do it, easing in to the end.
Mile 26.2 - 26.37 on the GPS. Great to have Jody here. Calf muscles hurt the most and I am really stiff. An hour later I am still feeling very stiff and this is the worst my legs have felt in a long time. Try to drink lots of water and keep moving a little.
Remember the small pain in my toes? I had forgotten about it. Until back at the condo. I can see the blood soaking through my shoe. My sock is really bloody. The foot looks awful. I took a picture, but will spare the reader having to see it. For most of the race, the toe nail of my smallest toe was digging into the side of the next toe and drawing blood. Very minor injury that cleaned right up, but looked horrible.
Glad that I ran this one. Parts of it I enjoyed. The pain not so much and the tiny event on the highway shoulder is not my favorite. I don't feel like I have to run it again, but I would not rule out a return to get revenge.
17th of 49
Race#368, Marathon or Ultra#131