My adventure filled weekend began with meeting Jason Bryant at the Salt Lake City airport. We headed off to Park City where we camped out, unfortunately to discover that we had put the tent directly on a sprinkler. Oh well it just added to the adventure and we found a better place where the sprinkler just skimmed the tent rather than drenching it completely. In the morning we crossed paths with Bernie Boettcher at the gas station and Megan Kimmel at Starbucks. Then we were off to the start. I met a few other La Sportiva athletes at the start including Brad Mitchell and Luke Nelson. I also saw Rachel Cieslewicz who ran both Diablo and Barr Trail as well. Super sweet person and glad to see her at Jupiter too! I have to admit I was nervous, the altitude had kicked my butt in Colorado and I just kept my fingers crossed that I could kick its butt back.
The race started and I felt pretty good other than I couldn't convinence my legs that they could go faster. At that moment I thought that maybe I left my fast legs back in California, but tried to stay positive and just enjoy myself. It was a beautiful course and a perfect tempature. The summit was awesome, the best fucking part by far! I literally was crawling and placing my hands out in front of me from time to time, so I would not slide all the way down. Steepest summit that I've ever had in a race and it made me smile. As I headed back down, the altitude started kicking my butt. I got the lovely starry/blurred vision and dizziness. I almost felt like I had just drunk a couple beers. I just kept breathing and putting one foot in front of the other hoping I wouldn't pass out on the trail. I made it to the finish and eventually I started to feel more normal. I finished second woman in 2:15:21 behind the super fast Megan Kimmel who ran a 2:12:30. I am seriously considering training with her at altitude and trying to get a spot on the US Mountain running team next year... will see!
So after the La Sportiva crew did a cool down and chatted for a bit, Jason and I hit the road for Bend, Oregon. Around 11 hours later we arrived in Bend where Tonya was kind enough to house us. I slept really well and awoke the next morning without much stiffness in my legs and believe it or not, I was excited to race again. After a cup of coffee (thanks Tonya, you rocked!), we headed to the start where we met up with Bernie Boettcher again and Tom Borschel. When the race started, I felt incredible and fast. I could fucking breath, I guess I didn't forget to pack my fast legs afterall. I hung right with Jason for the first few miles and almost wanted to make a joke about how easy it was to breath. In fact, I couldn't hear myself breathing at all. I had a blast on the trails and I was super happy that my legs felt good on their second day of racing. I ended up winning and placing tenth overall. I ran a 1:30:02, Bernie ran a 1:25:55, Jason ran a 1:27:11, and Tom ran a 1:32:45.
So after the race, Jason, Bernie, Tom, and I hopped in the frickin' cold river. Seriously, I could not feel my toes, it was that cold. After freezing my butt off, Jason and I hopped back in a car again. My hamstrings were not so pleased with this, but sometimes that is how adventures go. We drove to Boise, Idaho where we stayed with his wife's aunt. Then on Monday morning, we finished our drive back to Salt Lake. I hopped on my flight and flew home happy. Really glad to have met and talked with more La Sportiva folks. Some of the nicest people I've met. And, two days of racing and feeling good, I am ready for Transrockies!!!