Sunday, May 8, 2011

But was mom impressed?

My guess is that "puzzled" would be more like it. I did a lot of sports as a kid, but anything that involved running was minimized as much as possible. So me, in my 50's, suddenly choosing to do trail races is a bit of a puzzle to her.

But I think she would be fine with me doing the PCTR Sequoia trail race on Mother's Day.

This was a tough one. I chose the 30K distance and found out yesterday that they had to modify the course a bit due to a fallen tree. (I can't believe that Merrell or one of those other minimalist shoe makers hasn't developed a minimalist chain saw that could be carried around during these races.) The change meant the 30K was now more like a 29K, which was OK with me. There was no word on what the change did to the elevation, which was originally 3070 feet, but now that I've finished the race I'm going to say that the elevation jumped to 6000 feet.

I love this picture. That is the sign-in table for the race underneath the large sign advertising a series of musicals. While I'm sure many in today's race enjoy a fine musical production, there are some that I cannot picture singing along to Oliver!

The trails were mostly great. Lots of single-track and almost all through dense woods. But then there were sections like this, with an evil intent to disrupt a runner's pace.

I took a fall pretty early in the race, before the first aid station (pun not intended, but pretty good, right?) and ended up sacrificing my palm to save the camera I was carrying in the hand at the time. I'd like to say this happened while careening down a particularly nasty bit of trail, but in truth, it happened while walking up a relatively calm bit of trail. (I can't believe PCTR lets me do these races - I'm such a running/walking dork.)

And there was mud on the trail!

OK, not much, and normal people could easily avoid it most times. But there were a lot of footprints in the mud - trail runners are not necessarily normal people.

A fire truck was waiting at the second aid station. I was pretty sure nobody saw me fall (sometimes it's good to be slow), but was afraid they would pull me off the trail if they saw my wound (I tried putting a bandaid on it but with all the sweat, there was no way it would stick). They were actually there for a couple of runners that had fallen victim to the evil bits of the trail.

Another example of a nasty stretch of trail.

This guy has already lapped me and is heading to the finish line for his 50K race. And he was flying down this section of particularly gnarly trail. It's fun to watch the good trail runners navigate so effortlessly over terrain that I would crawl over if it didn't hurt so much.

The first aid station a second time, making them the third aid station. Got that?

And finally, the finish line. And a cup of chili!

Me in today's running outfit. This was my first chance to wear the wonderful Skyline to the Sea shirt, and it didn't disappoint. (To be fair, it didn't make me faster either.)

This was a fun event. Having to change a course at the last minute has got to be high on a Race Director's top ten list of Bad Things That Can Happen. The only issue I had on the course was shortly after the first time through the Moon Gate aid station - we ran by a yellow-only ribbon, then a bit further down, a second one. A small group of us wondered if we had missed a turn, which seemed unlikely, but we also knew there was a point where the 10K course (yellow ribbons) veered off our course, and some doubt crept in. Two of us started backtracking while some others kept going forward, and almost immediately ran into pink ribbons (that marked our course). So it was no big deal, and the only issue or doubt I had all day.

That's it - move along...

PS: I posted a bunch of other pictures here.

1 comment:

DAK said...

Giants Rockies and you're out running through the rocks. By the way, I completely believe what you say about hexes now.