I definitely could have used this whale crane to get out of bed and down the stairs this AM. My Feet feel and look like I toe-punted a brick. One things for certain… I will be needing a pedicure to cover up my dirt-stained hobbit toes before wedding season rolls around. All that aside I feel pretty great! Honestly I think I may have been part of the lucky minority of folks who didn't wreck it on the course and walk away with some serious battle wounds. That was one insane vertical scramble! Leading up to the race I don't think I allowed myself to truly absorb the fact that over 16 miles I would be climbing (and the obvious inverse..plummeting down) 5000 ft of trail. The out and back course goes as follows: hellish climb out of river valley, slightly less hellish rolling hills along a ridge line, really fun downhill back to river, second punishing climb out of the valley up the same hill you just foolishly smiled your way down, and then a final downhill bomb to the finish. went out a bit aggressive, not realizing i would soon be using all fours and grabbing tufts of grass at points to work my way up the first climb. You know you are "ugly running" when your so bent over your pushing off your thighs with your hands… smile for the cam, hope someone snapped that cutie shot of me! It took about 35 minutes to conquer the first climb (~ 2000 ft over 2 miles), then I had a chance to catch my breath and re-evolve into a modern day homo sapien... Bi-pedal locomotion rules. #biologynerd. I stuck with a couple men throughout most of the course, rotating positions with them as we transitioned between the climbs, flats and downhills. I led the race for women until we started the second major climb after the 1/2 way aid station. I glanced over my shoulder and saw a women right on my heels, I was pretty dog tired at that point and didn't wan't to add the psychological weight of having to hold the lead so I stepped of the trail, had a GU and some water and let her pass. As we finished the last of the climbing I started to shrink the gap and bring her back into my sights. She was an incredibly strong climber, I knew I couldn't out work her on the ascents. I passed her again right before the final downhill and was able to put some distance between us over the last 2 miles of the course. The last two races I have won I was able to earn my leads on the downhills. I definitely attribute this to having grown up on a pair of ski's up at Whistler, trying to keep up with my downhill-crazy folks since I was 3. All that shredding has made me extremely comfortable on the vertical. I was having a blast, jumping sage brush like moguls all the way down the dusty slope. I crossed the finish in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Second quickest course time since Jenn Shelton ran it last year in a RIDICULOUSLY fast time. Thanks to James Varner and Rainshadow Running for a great time. What a great scene at the finish, grooving out with Iron Horse Brewery beer, pizza, and great music by the Pine hearts . I Look forward to my next Rainshadow race. Some pics from the scene below.
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.