Let me start by saying I do not recommend sitting in the back of a school bus and sitting sideways in the seat especially when the bus is taking winding roads. This was the start of my Skyline to Sea experience and I thought puking was going to be involved as well. Luckily I was off the bus and enjoying fresh air at Saratoga Gap just in time. This being said riding the bus was great hang out time. I got to chat with Chuck Wilson, Brian Wyatt, Leor Pantilat, and Will Gotthardt. Ah and they talked about Miwok for at least part of the ride, so yup, my mind and body were not even realizing today was a "race".
The beginning of the race had me laughing to myself. I was now doing the opposite direction than Will and I's first 40 miler. Net downhill feels much different when there wasn't 20+ miles of net uphill first. I cruised right pass the spot where I had my breakdown and enjoyed each and every tiny climb. I love hills and I fucking love running hills. Ok, so I stopped to take a pee in what I thought was the perfect hideaway, but Brett Rivers and Ken Parnow came cruising past. Not the first time someone has seen me squatting during a race. I made my apologies and caught back up to them. We all chatted for a bit and then I cruised past.
Ok my second recommendation, fucking pay attention to course markings. You know it is not a good sign when you've been running for 5 minutes without seeing any course marking. Also not a good thing when you see a big sign that says "dangerous: no bridge ahead, 8 foot drop." So that is when I knew I had fucked up. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pissed for a few seconds. But I think it is good I got lost, it reminded me to not push this race. As I was back tracking Mark Tanaka saved me. It was perfect timing and we headed uphill, on the right trail (thanks again Mark). The redwoods were amazing and I stayed more aware of the ribbons. Of course I was also asking backpackers if they saw runners on the trail. I was paranoid that I would zone out and be well off course again. Anyhow I caught back up to Ken with a few miles left. I came through the finish at 4:17.54, set a new course record, and honestly wanted to do the whole thing again, backwards. Ok maybe not backwards, but felt like I wanted to run more, which is perfect for next weekend. Leor won the race setting a new course record at 3:38. 05. Lots of other impressive running, Will ran 4:02.02 (so now were 4-1), Brian 4:21.40 (after running Diablo the previous weekend), Ken 4:24:54, and Mark 4:26.30 (after a 150 miler!).
It was great hanging out after the race and talking some more with people. I finally met Dave who ran a 5:12 PR and also enjoyed a personal detour, in fact two of them. Sarah and Wendell thanks again for a wonderful event. And looking forward to seeing your photography Aaron.
Alright more to come regarding pre-Miwok...