|A loop on the Mayer HS dirt track at dawn to start things off.|
|Saguaros under the morning sky.|
photo by Geoff Cordner
The large lead pack of runners flew through the cool early morning miles as the course was smooth and fast for the first 30 miles or so. The trail became moderately technical, it warmed up to about 85 F and things slowed down. I was mistaken for Hal Koerner by a couple spectators. Pfft, old man Koerner is back puking in the bushes I thought to myself as I had recently passed him.
|The handful creek crossings felt great as the afternoon heat crept in.|
photo by Cria
Fast-forward 30 miles and I was the one throwing up in the bushes, quite a bit, in a projectile manner. Emesis led to cramping and I had to stretch my legs out before I could walk let alone run. Luckily I was only two miles from the finish where I was welcomed by my wife, old friends, new friends, pizza and beer.
I finished in 7th place, much farther back in time and rank than I was hoping for. I couldn't really race, rather I was running conservatively enough to finish without falling apart too bad. My muscles just weren't there, most likely due to the lack of training I had coming into the race (it is February after all). I enjoyed my time off over the winter and I'm hungry to get back into the swing of things now.
Congrats to all the runners who made their way down the Black Canyon Trail on this lovely Valentine's Day (results). Ford Smith and Dave Mackey, Caroline Boller and Gina Lucrezi earned Western States bibs (Angela Shartel was the 2nd place female but is opting not to run WS again).
Shoes: The Hoka Clifton's were the perfect shoe for this course, and at the finish my feet felt as if I'd run a 10 mile training run.
Next up: Jemez!