The race started off COLD 🥶 we were all huddling around the outdoor heaters that really didn’t help because of the cutting wind. I saw Joe Weightman for two seconds and then as soon as the race started he was gone and I never saw him again (felt just like a normal PATR run with this fast ones just…gone). He finished his first ultra today!!
One of the buses with runners was late so they delayed the start by 15 minutes… longest 15 min of my life given the freezing cold…
The first three miles were NOT cool- I was questioning the recommendation to run this particular race. And then… we started dropping into the canyon on single track that ran along the canyon wall- gorgeous and fun! (At this point I decided maybe my running tribe had a reason for recommending this race 🤣)
The first aid station included two beautiful cheerful volunteers (aka Cindy and Jillian). Cindy literally saved some skin on my back by kindly applying some vasoline!!! So grateful for volunteers at these events!!
Everyone said to be careful on the first half and not go too quickly because the second half was worse- I was wondering what race they were running because I had ZERO motivation to try and do ANY of this ultra very fast.
Did I mention this was the hardest course I’ve run to date? Yeah think rocks, rocks, more rocks. People were falling and bleeding all over the place. And there’s no beautiful runnable downhill for significant length of time- even the downhills have uphills (you have to run it to understand this 😬).
Good news- I felt the best I have ever felt on a long run- I think it was the million up’s and downs… equal strain on all parts and my knees never started hurting - even now a few hours after no pain - what?!??
At mile 30 one of the runners asked “what hurts the most right now?” And I literally couldn’t think of anything… crazy
This race went a lot slower than I expected. I realize it’s my longest distance and the toughest course I’ve run but dang, I finished 50k and 55k in under 8 hours…
I’m getting better at balancing electrolytes and fuel and water 😬 I decided to take my time and peruse the food sections at the aid stations this time (ie: I’m really here for the food) and I decided I really like ginger chews and the liquid energy gu- cola flavor 😍
Monet and I ended up at aid station 2 together and ran about ten miles together - it was wonderful - the company made the miles fly 😍
Bumblebee I was surprised how good I felt.
The sun. Dying. Heat. Hills that made me want to vomit. (One girl next to me was completely unsympathetic- she just said “no!” To the entire idea of puking on the trail 🤣
Did I mention the dunk tanks??? I had no idea these were a thing and I started heading straight for them at every aid station- ice cold water all over me! tho I set my electrolyte drink down to dunk myself and didn’t realize it was gone for a mile afte the aid station 😭 and that dunk only lasted a mile but still… heaven at every aid station!!!
Mile 33 I passed some guys and one asked if he could borrow my legs- it felt nice to hear the compliment seeing as I was passed all day (as per the usual 🤣)
Shawn saw me hiking hills at the end and ran up- she was all encouragement and “we got this” and proceeded to RUN UPHILL AFTER 30 MILES until I lost sight of her…
The last river crossing had water… and yes I fell in… the guy behind me exclaimed and all I could think was - see?! This is why I took my shoes off in the canyon! I fall in EVERY FREAKING TIME! And if my balance sucks at mile 3 just imagine mile 34… 🙄
The hills - the hills were REAL and just never quit the whole freaking race… I would look up and have flashbacks to hiking out of the Grand Canyon… yay… more uphill 😭
Running after mile 35 required sheer determination. You can imagine the arguments with my legs- yes, yes we are still running.
The finish line was sweet - Noel Kingston took some pictures 🥰 and touched base with Harley Guy who completed his first ultra today!!!
I somehow lost a half mile on my watch and then the race ended at 37.5 soooo I had another mile after the finish line to officially hit 38 miles… did a cool down wander around Rock Springs until I hit the magic number (plus .01 for Strava of course 🤣)
All in all an amazing day and I would TOTALLY do this ultra again!
If you need me I will be rehydrating and strategizing Antelope… what’s another 12 miles? I got this… right? 🤣😬🤣