It was rainy and windy from the start. Perfect temperatures for running and great trail conditions, except for a little slip'n'sliding on the muddy downhills. It was awesome seeing so many friends racing and hanging out: David, Evan, Timmy, Christian, Sarah, Tim, Sean, Josh, Jayme, Todd, Patrick, Robert, Vanessa, Todd, Keira, Jesse, Dom, Katie, Jimmy, Kate, Eric, Howard, Keith, Mari, Jorge and many more.
I jumped out in front at the start, I think I run better being chased so I put myself in that position. Trucking up the first climb, it's easy to look back and see how close people are behind you on this course. Marcelo Mejia and Dominic Grossman were a minute or two back at this point, definitely too close for comfort. Heard some people up on the peak cheering as I neared the top, they started singing happy birthday to me (it was in fact my birthday). Then I saw it was Kate, fully clothed, with Eric, Jimmy and Howard all mooning me.
I couldn't help but do a 6 cheek run by spanking, turned back around and saw the amazing photographer Jayme Burtis catching it all through the lens of his camera. Thanks for the amazing shots Jayme!
|Photo by Jayme Burtis|
Wound around the coast before heading inland to the little valley, all gentle rolling hills through here. Then back into La Jolla Canyon for a nice gentle rocky downhill back to the start/finish area. This really is a gorgeous area, even in the rain. Can't wait to run here again in February at the Ray Miller 50/50.
After grabbing a new bottle I headed up the beautiful Ray Miller Trail and I loved how much easier it was to run up this climb in the cool temperatures. I was able to run with just my InkNburn shirt and shorts, which worked perfectly. I didn't quite get cold enough for a jacket/windbreaker, but was too cold to go shirtless, unlike the toughguy Keith pictured up at the top.
After cresting the RMT we took the fire road down to Sycamore Canyon and it was super muddy. I was hoping to clock a sub 5 minute mile on this section, but it wasn't in the cards this year. Shortly after the turn around I saw Marcelo about 3 minutes behind me, and Dom just a minute behind him. Dom looked as fresh and goofy as ever so I decided to push it up the fireline trail climb, which connected to the fire road, then back onto the RMT and down to the start/finish area to do it all again more or less. My wife and I crossed paths at this aid station when she was coming down the RMT and I was about to head it up, stole a quick kiss and we were on our ways. So proud of her for finishing a tough, muddy 50k with 5k + of climbing for her first ultra! And today I'm watching her limp around like a 90 year old =) Love ya honey.
It was great seeing the PCTR RD Sarah again. Always fun running her races, especially at this race since I won a cash prize, other goodies and she had a birthday cake for me at the finish! Can't wait to watch PCTR grow and I'm stoked to be the newest member of their racing team.
After we finished up racing 8 of us met up at the Wolf Creek Brewery for delicious brews, grub and goofiness. Special thanks to Mark for driving all the way out there with only one good arm!
Thanks to all my friends for making this birthday a special one!
THANKS FOR THE UDO'S OIL DOM! My whole body feels like a zillion dollars today, ah ha ha ha!