When I first tried to get into Way Too Cool, I didn't know much about it. In fact, all I knew was that it filled up according to Scott Dunlap's blog. When I ended up getting a spot, I took it without any goals or expectations. Obviously this changed a little once I ran Sequoia. My goal was to stay with the lead woman and see where my body could take me as the race progressed. Beverley Anderson-Abbs and Devon Crosby-Helms took off at the start and the first few miles I hung to the six minute mile pace. Inside I thought, ok I'll be happy with third. I loved hearing people cheer, "go gal in the red shorts." Being unknown in trail running is something I have enjoyed, but Bev told me that I would make a name for myself with this race. I ran 27 miles with Bev. I enjoyed talking with her a bit, seeing her strength, and extremely inspired by her and her running. As we came upon Goat Hill, (I had to ask her if that is where we were. I still wasn't 100% sure if it was Ball Bearing a few miles back. See that is the problem when you don't run a course beforehand.) she told me I was on my own for the race and I kept with Erik Skaden for the last four miles. My quads and hip flexors were hurting and tightening with every step, but adrenaline kept me going. It wasn't until the last 100 meters that it hit me I would be the 1st woman crossing the finish (I take that back, not sure if it has still hit me.) I crossed the finish at 4:12 and with a smile. I sat down and talked to Erik for a bit. He asked if I ever get tired. Answer is yes! Bev came through the finish at 4:17. I can't thank her enough for her pacing and friendliness. And my apologies for not pacing more, I am still getting used to the ultras and my abilities. Congrats to fellow La Sportiva teammate, Leor Pantilat, for winning the race in 3:39! Damn! Also thanks to those that believed I would rock the course (specifically Will Gotthardt who had a great race at 4:21, Jady Palko (4:34), and Jenny Capel (who ran a 5:07 even with a cold!). It makes a difference when there are people that believe in your abilities. Of course, I am always extremely grateful to my body and glad that it is feeling good today. In fact, I think I am going to lace up my La Sportiva Wildcats and go for an easy run. Looking forward to returning to the 20k distance next weekend at Pirates Cove (unless I decide to bump it up to a 50k) and then training for Miwok! Thanks Julie for an awesome course at Way Too Cool!
(PS. Not sure about doing Western States. Seems like a lot to ask of my body seeing that I just bumped up to 50k's. Thoughts? I've got 2 weeks to decide.)
Erik Skaden and I post-race.
Bev and I leaving an aid station.
If you want to read more:
La Sportiva Mountain Running
(thanks to the Auburn Journal for the two pictures!)