It was a first-time event, and it was cheap to sign up, close enough to drive and not book flights, and Larry used to live there. On top of it, we had friends in the area, an ultrarunner Bobby Keogh and his wife Diana, and my Gail's sister-in-law. So, we had a place to crash before and after. Plans were set, and once Stephen boarded the plane to Oregon on Thursday evening, we were in a car driving West.
|Friday's hike in Sandia.|
|Course profile, it's out and back 16M, and loop of 13 or so, not sure how it goes here.|
|Red line between Cedro peak and 45km turn is what I did twice. Black line is what I retraced back after Cedro peak AS, blue line is extra mile I made out of AS and then had to come back.|
|Bushwhacking, photo by CP45|
|Views, photo by CP45|
I looked at my watch as I arrived to an AS, and my split from Powerline Water Stop was exactly what it was predicted. I shrugged my shoulders, and without much but "Thanks" to volunteers moved on. It was still a gentle downhill, a couple of dirt bikers came up, a couple more...a few more struggling runners passed...and I was at Coyote AS, manned by Jim's wife. She greeted me by name, and I broke in. I stood there, telling her story, slowly realizing I will have to go over Cedro Peak AGAIN, and how much I don't want to, wishing she can make a decision for me. She gave me a hug. And 2 extra gels (since this detour wasn't planned in my nutrition, yet I was taking my gels and S-caps on the clock). I began to smile as I walked away, things looking brighter for some odd reason, if only to be able to have off-loaded my burden of frustration. The feared PowerLine climb has began, and I was OK. I was Ok at last.
|The view on PL climb ahead, straight up a mile cross-country. Photo by CP45.|
10:15:45 was my final time, 4 bonus miles, for 3rd female and 1st master. I really wanted to cry for those last 2 miles, but right now it seemed to be inappropriate anymore. I stood there and kept apologizing for being such a drama queen and having had so many troubles that Jim had to take care of on the fly. I am really grateful how it all ended up to be. Could I have caught the 2nd woman, who was done in 9:33? I don't know, and frankly, it is so not essential. I have a story to tell. Seems that I rarely go to this kind of events without ending up to have an adventure, a story, a broken bone or few...and may be that's why I keep going back. there is never a dull moment in ultra-racing. It really shakes me up, puts me in uncomfortable situations and allows me to figure out how to get out of them. I love this unknown about every race, #20 or #100...
LARRY had an amazing run himself, smart and with an awesome kick in "back-half". My man is becoming a very wise runner. He pressed on, and in the last 12M passed 12 runners (that gal including), finishing extremely strong in 9:26. He baby-ed me, gave me food, and listened to my disasters (of which he was aware as it was a talk at the finish line). We drove to our friend's house, took hot showers and ate some food. After a not very restful night (quite usual after an effort race), we drove to Sandia Peak, had some Starbucks coffe, and took on the road, driving all the way home by 11 pm. It was a great trip, indeed.
As for the race, I highly recommend it. The mountains are awesome, the altitude is manageable, the trails are sweet (and mostly single-track), lots of it is soft panderosa type, although quite some is rocky and technical (I was thankful I wore Hoka's in state of the foot, it helped big time to sooth the pain - and, of course, the trusted DryMax trail socks!). The marking is awesome (please disregard volunteers directions and read the signs!:)), the food at the finish line is great, and it is going to be a fantastic event for good. Thank you, Jim!
Full photoalbum of the trip is HERE (we didn't run with camera).