Race#400! My 6th time at this one. I like a lot of things about this race, one being the many friends that I will see. But for the 50K this year, attendance is way down. Three other marathons or trail ultras this weekend. Some Oly people doing the shorter events and lots of runners in the 15K and 30K. Light rain turning windy later.
loop 1 - 2:00 The past two years I ran 2:02 first loops and I wanted to be there or a little slower. It takes me a while to get the legs warmed up and then I feel like I am in a groove. After the crowded start I settle in behind someone running a nice pace for me. I stay back 20-30 feet so as to not bug her. Let people pass anytime someone gets behind me. Try to take it easy. But it is so hard to run an even pace. The last 3.5 easy miles go by fairly quickly. Now the horrendous, rope assisted decent down the cliff. Near the finish at 1:58. I walk it in worried that I have gone out too fast. Take my time at the aid station then head off for loop 2.
loop 2 - 2:12 The flat promontory is fine, but as soon as I start up the steps I can feel it and slow. Move along but slower. Pass Dan Sherman, who will re-pass me later. By myself the rest of the long day. On the last miles, I pass a junction that I think is Yannicks but he is not there. I hope I am close to the end, but the trail goes on and on. Then a turn and there is Yannick. That was so discouraging.
loop 3 - 2:35 Well this is just awful. No real injury, just tired. After the steps I just can not get running again. Rain and wind pick up. A couple of miles of walking and shuffling, then I can jog for longer stretches. Look back once in a while but no one is there and that does not give me incentive to move along. Stop at the aid station to thank the volunteers. I tell then that this is a big deal for me and so great that I get to do this and I could not do this without them. One asks if it is my first race. LOL. Down the hill to the road crossing where a volunteer woman dressed as a banana had been stationed during my first two laps. She has been replaced by two non costumed volunteers, so I ask "where is the banana?" And I get the answer I was hoping for, "she split". On to Achilles Hill where I not only walk, I have to stop briefly to gather my strength. Now the "easy 4 miles" but I know it will be a super long slog and I will not misjudge the distance. Start running better. 6:07 on the watch and I try to run for ten minutes. I do it, then keep going. Very short walk breaks. Then a slight hamstring cramp and I slow for an S!Cap. Realize that I will be running a course worst today, no need to stress about it now. The flat trail goes on forever, right ankle and foot bugging me, but hamstring seems OK. Finally Yannick, then the road. No one behind me I take my time on the cliff. Still almost slip, legs are so tired. This is a scary thing to attempt after so many hours of running. Make it down OK and "sprint" to the finish.
Weather is crappy and most people are gone. I grab some drink and pizza and call it a day. Not the funnest or most exciting or best running day, but I don't think I would have rather been anywhere else.
31st place of 39
Race#400, Marathon or ultra#145, Defiance 50K #6