Boy did I have to dig deep for this one! But first some thankyous. Firstly to Amanda from Spectrum Sports who comp’d my entry and secondly to the super cool group of people who I got to hang out with Friday night through Saturday night. What a great bunch of people you are, Colin, Kirstin, Graham, Brittny, Brian, Erika and Rider, Billy and Andrea you all totally rock!
This could be a long rambling race report but I think a picture is worth a 1000 words and so here is about 50 of them.
The long and the short of it was that I was woefully undertrained, I eased off on the front half knowing that the first 5 miles were basically up and they were! It was a good job too as anything I saved I used up in spades on the back half. Despite being spot on with my hydration and nutrition I started cramping around my 16 and didn’t stop till I crossed the finish line! And that was even with 6 Nuun tablets, 80oz of Gu Brew/Cytomax and 4 salt tabs. I blitzed through 6 gels and 2 packs of ShotBloks care of Clif (reviews and giveaway soon) and didn't take anything from the Aid Stations except water...tempting as the Red Bull looked it was probably a good idea to give it a miss!
The course was challenging and even when you on the “top” the rolling downs seemed to be uphill at times. The real kicker was the heat, clear blue skies from the get go and little or no shade for most of the course which took it’s toll and the final 3 miles of downhill will claim their prize; a couple of my toe nails! However that being said on a good day this course is very runable; mostly fireroad and non technical single track, there are a couple of doldrum inducing road sections but they pass by quickly enough. The scenery as you would expect is breathtaking and one upside of the cloudless day was the ability to see to the mainland and other islands. Suprisingly there were also a couple of small lakes..well more like big ponds that you ran around which broke up the scenery. The Aid Stations were frequent; every 3 miles or so and while simply stocked were plentiful and didn’t run out of anything (unlike some other races this weekend) and as you expect with trail races the volunteers were awesome! Overall the race was well organized, safe; with plenty of radio hams on the course and fun!
In terms of my performance I was on track for an around 5:30 finish, or so thought I as passed through the halfway mark in 2:39 but shortly after that the wheels fell off the axle broke and the radiator blew it’s cap! In addition to the cramping I did have some hip issues that went away with a handful of Aleve, the good news was that among all of this my adductors were fine. In time honored fashion my fast walk helped me make up the pace as well as something that I learned in the military which is to simply walk 10 strides then run 10 strides, this allows you to cover more ground than simply walking and you don't loose too much time over someone who is running slowly, also it expends less energy. The "Crush" at M19 wasn't too bad, steep yes but also short; about 1/3 of a mile.
I finished in a predicted 6:01:45, 139 out of 267 (can you say middle of the pack) got a great finisher’s shirt and the biggest piece of bling ever! I was desperately trying to go sub six but being reduced to a grimaced, crampy, gimpy, walk, stretch run in the last mile back down the road into Avalon robbed me of that! Post race I kinda ground to a halt and cooled off in the ocean, but I was a bit slow on recovery fuel and stretching and now I am paying the price for that, if there was one complaint it would be the lack of food/drink at the finish.
Now if I can just hold onto my toenails and shake the feeling that somebody used my quads to break in their new baseball bat this coming weekend I have PCTR Pt Mugu!