A storm was passing through on Saturday and it was torrential downpour from the start at 5 a.m.! The first 10 miles through the "rock garden" was difficult for me. It was hard to see through the heavy rain and fog in the dark with my glasses and crappy headlamp (Lesson learned: I'm investing in a better headlamp - it's worth it). Sky lightened up after the first 10 miles and we also got to run on smoother single-tracks. I was able to pick up my pace a bit and caught up with a few that passed me during the Rock Garden. Unlike the point-to-point 50-miler, the 35-miler was an out-and-back. During the return trip, some sections of the trail had now become gushing streams... I took extra cautions since the ankle deep water was hiding the rocks. Later, I was told that one river crossing for the 50 & 100-miler swept away two runners and a truck was floating trying to cross it! Crazy! I finished the race in 7 hours flat.
|Race Start (I'm in a red jacket behind the five guys up front).|
While Joe and I had both finished the 35-miler, Angie, Katie, and Rachael were still running their 50-miler. We headed to the 50-mile turn-around to hang out with Jason's crew: Nick, Bryan, and Annie. They were incredible at taking care of Jason, from cooking, tending to his needs, to encouraging him to keep going. Here, I learned the importance of a supportive crew: Don't attempt a 100-miler without one! In the next 24 hours, when I showered, ate, slept, and ate again, Jason and his pacer Annie were still out on the course. A couple minutes passed 11 a.m. on Sunday, we saw two figures emerged from the trees, both carrying a huge smile. Right before the finish line, Jason threw his two hand-helds into the sky, let out a beastly cry, and concluded an epic journey.
|Sully with his 5th buckle.|