“It's the climbing that makes the man. Getting to the top is an extra reward.”
-Robert LipsyteDistance: ~52 miles
Elevation: ~11,000 ft
I don't know where to begin to write about the incredible day of trail running I had in The Fort. This was the toughest run I've had that didn't involve bonking or puking (a la R2R2R). Somehow, I managed my effort, fueling and hydration well enough to beat each of the cutoffs by about a half-hour. As I mentioned previously, fear of a DNF is a powerful motivator for me.
I had reason to be concerned about the cutoffs. Only 111 out of 172 finished the 50 miler (65%). I ran like a scared rabbit to be included in that number.
|Six times, I did|
|With Sheila at the start line|
|Photo: Erin Bibeau|
|Photo: Erin Bibeau|
When I came to the turnaround at around 6 hrs, 10 min, I felt great and ready to take on the second half. Coming in 35 minutes ahead of the cutoff, I needed to apply more effort to keep from slowing down too much. To add to the fun, we had a little bit of everything weather-wise -- mostly sun, lots of mud and periodic thunder with little rain and a little hail. Good times.
|Tammy also ran her first 50 miler & did awesome!|
|High fives as I finished|
I was so wiped after the race, it took until the next morning to begin to really feel the satisfaction of what I accomplished on Saturday. I didn't mean to pick a super tough 50 miler as my first, so I'm grateful to have finished and to feel good about how it went. I told Nick that while it was a great race, I'm never doing it again. He just laughed. I suspect he knows that I will be back, since hard climbs and gnarly trails make for a more gratifying finish.
My reward for finishing was prancing around in my new shirt:
I pinched these additional on course snaps from Steve Pero:
|Lots of this...|
|...followed by lots of this.|
|We were warned|
|JT's all smiles|
Shout out to Sheila's husband John, who crewed for both of us at all the accessible aid stations. He was a huge help and I was very grateful for his assistance.
With four ultras done, I now start my summer of pacing Sheila through the Rocky Mountain Slam. Stay tuned, Bighorn is next!