Oh man was this tough. The race was great, the trail was amazing, the people I met were fantastic. My running was blah. This race was a tale of slogging along and no quitting regardless of how much I thought about it. I finished in a time 12:53.03 which was more than an hour off of my goal time. I could tell out of the gate that it could be a long day. There were several factors that probably played into this. One was the 4am start. It is not normal to get up at 2am for a race. Digestion along with other systems are just not ready to fire that early. I knew in my mind this could be the case so I prepped myself for an easy start and felt like I dealt with that aspect fairly well. I think the bigger deal was coming off of the flu a little over a week before. I had been down weight and unable to keep food down during the height of the sickness then it was another several days before I was able to start eating and drinking again normal. Not the ideal way to taper. Long story short, the lingering effects of the flu hung on and really had me worn out for the duration of the race. Food was not digesting well and my energy was really low from the start.
This is, however, a long race and they do not all go well. What I can say is it was really great to run a race like this out in my "back yard." I drove about 40 minutes to get to the start line of this beauty of a race. Tons of green, waterfalls, flowing rivers, technical terrain, and big climbs with views made my low energy and poor digestion a little more tolerable. Watching some of the big competition unfold from the turn around was really great and then meeting some people like Gary Robbins post race who I have corresponded with over social media for years was excellent as well. The aid stations we were well done. Course marking was spot on save for some course vandalism that happened to the front runners. I just cant say enough good things about this event put on by Rainshadow Running . This course was no picnic as you can see from the Strava below, it makes you work for it. Now I just have to decide how hungry I am to have a better race out there or maybe I'll just sleep in and run the 50k on Sunday next year!
For some really excellent pictures from the race check out Glenn Tachiyama's photos of the race.