What a crazy but fun race! I was really looking forward to this 50K even though I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared. I realized at the last minute I didn’t buy a bus/shuttle ticket and had a mini freak out 2 days before the race. Luckily I have a large group of amazing ultra runners who stepped up and offered me rides, it was so amazing for me to see and feel the love. I was really humbled by the amount of people who offered to help me out. I am so very lucky!
I have been running for just over 3 years and this would have been my 4th 50K. This was not to be the day for me however. I started off strong and felt great! I was nervous because there was a 4 hour cut off to reach the first 16 miles. I decided to push really hard to get to that cut off and was keeping a great pace for the first 9 miles. All of a sudden my stomach started acting up. I had to make quite a few “pit stops” and lost quite a bit of time.
I tried to keep on pushing but I missed the cut off by an hour.
The race directors require everyone who misses the cutoff to drop down to the marathon distance; I was completely prepared for that once I realized I was going to miss the cutoff. I got some extra love, help and ice (due to the heat) from an amazing friend at that aid station. I decided I was going to try to beat the cut off again for the finish and really push myself the rest of the 10+ miles to the finish. I was at mile 16 at hour 5 and there originally was an 8 hour cutoff but the race directors changed it to 9 hours. I still wanted to beat the 8 hour cut off for myself.
Off I went into the hills of Saratoga and Santa Cruz. The next 5 miles were the most difficult portion of the course for me. A lot of down hill, single track and loads and loads of roots. During a past 50K in Muir Woods those roots got the better of me so I wanted to be extremely careful but push myself at the same time. It felt great to be able run 21 miles and stay strong and know that if I dug deep I could finish within my allotted time. I got to the bottom of the canyon with 5 miles to go and realized if I didn’t step up my pace I wouldn’t make the 8 hour cut off. So…I stepped up my stride, hunkered down and really found what I was made of. I kept an easy but consistent pace and made it to the last aid station in plenty of time. I had 3 more miles to the finish and I knew if I kept up this pace I would be fine. So off I went, feeling stronger than I ever imagined I would. I think I had 1.5 miles left when I could hear the finish line with people crossing, cow bells and lots of cheering. It really energized me and helped me finish strong.
I crossed that finish line in 7:34:26!!!
I beat my goal of finishing in the 8 hours!
I was so proud of myself I didn’t even care that I didn’t complete the 50K. There are always more races. What a beautiful course, wonderful race directors and amazing aid station volunteers (too many to mention). I’ll never forget this experience. EVER!!
What a glorious DAY!
With AMAZING FRIENDS!