I never run fast here but I am o.k. with that. I actually don't like this race. Oh, the organization is great and the volunteers are fantastic. It is just the course. Not much to see and pretty boring actually.
But I run this because it is a great way to be on my feet for 5+ hours and it is close to where I live so I don't have to spend hours driving or spend money on a hotel, car, and a flight.
So, I start off running with Mark and Brad. The key word is "start". Mark is much faster than me as he is a sub 3 marathoner. Brad is just tougher than nails.
We do the out and back on the gravel road because a bridge that was washed out five years ago has never been replaced and the trail is a little shorter now as we have to jump out onto the road for a detour.
The bridge that has been out for the past few years.
I had gone out too "hot" just like always. I stay with Mark and Brad and we get back to the Start/Finish in 24 minutes, just like last year. I should be doing this in 30 minutes actually.
We plug along the next four miles when Mark and Brad gap me. That was fine with me. I have two laps to do with this mud fest. I catch up to them as they are grazing at the first aid station.
The plan was not to use the aid stations in this race. I cruise by thanking Gail for helping out. Mark and Brad both say it isn't fair that I don't stop. I reply by saying I'm to slow to stop at aid stations.
The middle section is probably the worst for mud. At least it is in the open field sections. Like running with slabs of butter on your soles actually. The biggest worry for me was not getting injured actually. I can run anything that is super technical and love it but this was ridiculas.
Well, I actually stop at the last aid station to say "hi" to Kyly, Liz, and Kamm. I grab a gu and leave right away. No thank you, no need to fill my bottles. I will make it the next four miles.
Unknown runners running through a "good" section.
Kamm and Liz staying warm.
I get into the Start/Finish and grab two full bottles and a new race belt as planned. I know that I will probably run out of fluids on the next lap but I figure I can run lean the last 2-3 miles without refilling anything out on the course.
Linda Samet catches me one mile out of the Start/Finish. She asks me if everything is o.k. I ask her the same. She says that she can't get her S-caps out. I offer her mine. She says she might take me up on it the next aid station.Linda to right.
She gaps me by about 3/4 of a mile getting into the aid station. Since I don't stop I catch up with her just out of the aid station. We run the next five miles together. She pushes the pace. She wants sub 5. I tell her I never run under 5 here. After slogging our way through the second field she notes that sub 5 won't be happening today. I agree. It was a slog-fest on the North side.
As we are running I splash my way through puddles. One puddle I sink in above my knee! Yup, I scream "that is cold" it splashed up my skirt!!!!!!! Yes, I was one of the five that had on a skirt. I wasn't as cute as Sean or Ken and I don't have pretty legs like Bushwacker but I was having fun.
I also had mechanical issues with it. It started falling off me on the second loop. Too heavy from all the sweat and water from the rain. Made some adjustments and at least I wasn't going to moon anybody today. Not a prett sight. Linda thanked me for that.
Ken, advertising for "Dirty Girl", Xy, even had his gators match. (in pink)
(Bushwacker) sporting skorts. Nice legs Mike. Showing off to Kyly, Kamm, and Liz at the last aid station.
Kris (Red) and Anna (grey coat)don't have skirts on but still find to show off their bumm to Kyly. ( I met Anna and Kyly running at 3am at Waldo 100k three years ago when Anna's headlamp went out. Kyly and I lit the way up to Fuji for Anna that day. What great friends we are now).
Oh, back to the race... I grab one gu at the last aid station again. Not really stopping to chat. Linda refills. I look at my bottles and I was right, I will run lean for a bit. Actually sooner than predicted. I had almost four miles to go when I drained the last bottle. Man I even thought about dipping somewhere but that wouldn't be wise here. Remember, I am the "dumb" runner!
The goal now was just to run as much as possible to the finish and not get passed by too many people. I wasn't running fast by any means but I just wanted to give it good effort. (me coming into the last aid station. With my skirt "ON".)
I catch a few people. I asked one lady if I could pass on the left but she didn't hear me. I ask again, nothing. TURN THAT fu$%@ I-POD DOWN!!! Please, if you wear one, please don't have it cranked up so loud that you can't hear. This is got to be a huge pet peave for me. I don't care if you wear one but try to be a little curtious.
I cross the finish and I completely forget to look at my time. I go back to find out, 5:13. 23rd, 1st in my age group. (but really that is a missnomer. I was actually 3rd in Masters. They just broke it up every five years) Sorry Bushwacker, you're too old. That is the time I finished last year but a much lower place.
I haven't been running near as much as last year. Last year I had three 100 mile weeks in before this race. This year only three weeks of 70+. I have to admit I wanted sub 5. But I also have to be realistic. I just haven't been training enough. The good thing is for the last four weeks I have logged 4-6 hour long runs. Last week was a good 30 mile run. I have run every day this month and I had a good 10 mile run on Sunday after the race.
I am sore. Almost like a full body work out it was. Slipping and slidding for almost all of the five hours will do that.
Chatted with Sarah after finishing. Sarah and Sharon seemed to have fun. Believe me, you will like the other races in the Oregon Trail Series much more! Had my usual 35mg of protein and beer. Had to get out of my skirt, too wet and cold now.
Talked to Olga after she finished. I was thinking about her as I knew this stuff couldn't be good for her hip. She survived. Nice shoes Olga. Tape to cut down on wind resistance also? (Olga and her secret weapons below. Is that Montrail approved Olga?
Who won the best skirt award? Sean, he is the cuttiest. Second from left. Yea, that is me, on the far right. Yes, I do have my number 83 on upside down. What a gube. Hey, when I look down it is right to me.
Well, another good training run. I have to get busy here real quick if I want to be ready for Kettle 100!Ultra studs to right! Bushwacker, Kyly, and Allen Boyce. Nice and warm now.