Standing on the start line I was able to catch up with Nick Clark and a few other friends before we were off. Midway up the first climb I found myself in the lead group with Nick, Seth Wold, Jake Krong, and Mike Foote. The pace seemed a little fast but still well within my limits but my heart rate monitor told me something different, holding steady at 166 to 168. I knew that was too high but carried on anyway.
|Seth, Nick, Jake, then Mike and myself 20 yards back, Photo: Greg Norrander|
Coming back through the overcrowded Elephant Head aid station at mile 10.6, Mike had a minute on me and the other had about 4. Shortly after this I realized I needed electrolytes but I had none. I admonished myself for overlooking such an important detail and kept on eating my gels. I saw Greg taking pictures after the next climb and he confirmed the splits I had calculated. Foolishly I kept on pressing because I was still on pace to break 4 hours. I hit the turnaround in 1:55 and spent a good minute or so hoisting the water container on to the table and filling my bottle. The climb back up was not nearly as smooth as first time so I was quite surprised to only be a couple minutes slower this time up. I was eager to start running faster on the flat but my hamstrings protested so I just did what I could. I switched into survival mode and moved as fast as I could through the rest of the lap. I should have stopped and filled my bottle the last time through Elephant Head AS at mile 26 but I took one look at the line and just kept on running. I received a bit of lift from Betsy, my lovely wife, as we crossed paths in this section. She was looking strong in her first ultra and she encouraged me to gut it out.
|The finish line. Photo: Greg Norrander|
Besides beating myself to a pulp, the highlights were seeing all my friends and meeting some new ones. I had a great time hanging out at the finish chatting with everyone while I anxiously waited for Betsy. She had predicted something around 7 hours but I knew she would be faster and I was right. I was super proud to watch her finish strong and stop the clock at 6:18! Congratulations to Jay for taking 3rd in the 50 miler with a 6:43, watch for a report on his race soon. Thanks to Jim Skaggs for his ongoing deal with the weather gods and putting on one of the biggest ultra's in the country.
|Betsy crossing the finish line. Photo: Greg Norrander|