Monday, February 07, 2011

Another great time at Orcas. It started out a little slow, Kris and I missed the 4:00 ferry and had to wait 3 hours till the next one. Fortunately I had an audio book "4 Fish" and learned about the extermination of Atlantic salmon and the successful domestication that brought them back, a little genetically altered. Friday night at the lodge was fun seeing everyone show up, getting something to eat, then the Oly crowd headed to our bunkhouse. I scored a lower bunk with drawers so I was very happy. By 10:30 lights were out and we all konked out. Kris, Heidi, and I woke everyone up at 5:30 in the morning. Kris and Heidi were doing a super early start since they had to leave early afternoon and they wouldn't just run the 25K. I got up early to cut bagels and muffins for the breakfast I host every year. Breakfast went great, John and Alex (won the ultra series last year but now injured) helped alot. We were all bad at making coffee. At the start of the 50K, I ran into Glen but didn't catch up to him till about 3 miles in. We ran the first loop together until the downhill when Bushwaker showed up and I took off. I felt great after the first loop, and had a good climb up the powerline, Bushwaker passed me right away, good training for Hard Rock! I topped the powerline and had a great downhill chasing Joesph down to the lake. But I hadn't been drinking enough and I was about out of water for the loop around the lake. I stumbled through this bad patch, mad at my poor planning. I started to recover after the water stop and climbed the 3 miles to the top of Constitution with Joesph. It was great to see Glen near the top taking pictures and even better seeing the aid station at the top. I chugged down some fluids, ate some food, grabbed a cookie and headed down. My dehydration showed on the downhill. I just couldn't get the wheels turning. But I felt good so as it started to level out, I ran better. When I got down to the last lake loop, it looked like I might be able to finish under 7hrs.
I was running strong, but at the back end of the lake, we were sent on a new trail so the finish was farther away than I thought. I didn't care, I was happy I was running strong at the end especially after not training much before the race. I finished in 7:07, sixth in my age group, a half hour slower than last year. I guess the course was a little harder and longer than last year and I was a little bit slower. As usual, great food, music, beer, and bonfire after the race.
It was a great start for what I hope is a fun ultra season!

Monday, January 17, 2011

We had a very successful Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass. Last week I marked the upper part of the course, on race day I was going to sweep with Kris. The morning started with me watching the start, then heading up to Falls Creek to set up the turnaround aid station with Glen Rodgers. We then headed up to the peak where Glen would be stationed. I ran down the course to Falls Creek to meet Kris. It was a great warm-up run and I got to see most of the long course runners heading up the hill before I got to the 17 mile turnaround. It was unseasonably warm and dry and everyone was in good spirits. I didn't have to wait long for Kris sweeping behind the last long course runner, who promptly dropped! The last runners left about 10 min prior so I knew we would catch them before the top. We headed up at a steady pace and it began to rain. I ran into Seth in first place bombing down past the trail 50 intersection, he only had a couple of minutes on Yassine though. It would prove not to be enough. By the time we reached the top, we had caught the last runner, the temperature dropped 10 degrees, the wind was blowing and we were in full rain gear. The last guy was 61 years old and just plodding along. As Kris and I followed him, we started to get cold, and he started to have problems. Half way up the steep grunt, we decided I should run ahead and get the search and rescue to drive up to the peak and pick him up. I ran up and over the peak and down to the search and rescue and rode with them back up to the top to pick up the runner. Then I ran back down to the aid station with Kris and grabbed my insulated vest to stay warm. The last runners were now a 1/2 hour ahead of us, but we make up 15 mins on them by the time we reached Fall Creek. Boy it was wet, I've never seen it that wet up there and the trails were raging creeks. It was slow going picking up the flagging and all the water and mud. We never caught up to the last runners and finished just as it got dark. We were both totally soaked and tired but it was a good experience and I got 30miles in!