I have never spent more than a few minutes in Vacaville, California. To be honest, I never envisioned it as the place for an epic adventure. But, Saturday proved me wrong. Before the race, the rain hadn’t started, but it was windy with a touch of humidity. I kept wavering between a t-shirt or sports bra. I opted for the sports bra, which was my first mistake. Throwing my arm sleeves off at mile two was my second mistake. And, my final mistake was taking off my gloves around mile five (luckily I kept them with me, wrapped in a ball in my right hand).
So, at this point, I am about 35 minutes into the race, content, warm, only dealing with small patches of slick mud, and only really cussing it out on the steeper descents and sharp corners where I nearly fell multiple times. But, the mud was still “fun” at this point. That is, until I started the big climb at mile 7 and the rain was beginning to turn to hail. The gusts of wind were nearly knocking me down. And, the single-track trail had massive unevenness from cow hooves. By the end of the climb, I felt like I was running for my life. When I saw Martin G. coming back down I literally said, “I’m dying.” I was soaked, shivering, being pelted by hail, and being blown five feet to the right or left depending on which switchback I was on. Luckily I was able to manage my gloves out of my hand and place them back on my fingers, which at this point were barely movable. I stopped feeling my feet and then I just had to laugh at how absolutely crazy it all was and how absolutely crazy I am for loving this shit (not the feeling cold part, but the crazy weather… the rain, the mud).
It was the downhill that destroyed any warmth in my body. At the base of the descent, the mud was getting super slick. And now I was a little bit on the pissed side. I didn’t want to be shivering and covered in goosebumps. I wanted to feel my feet and the slip and slide wasn’t a good place to be numb. Anyhow, thank goodness Will G. was there with my jacket at mile 11. I couldn’t even put it on, let alone zip it up. All I kept saying was that I couldn’t feel my feet as he helped me zip it up and I went back on my way. Those last two miles were slow, painfully slow, but warmth was coming back to me. That jacket saved me. So needless to say, the second half the race became more of a trot, but I got to the finish line, soaked and shaking. I mean violently shivering like convulsive shaking. I went straight to the car with Martin and Will who helped me get dry and warm.
Needless to say, it was an epic adventure. It was the first time that my jaw was sore and not my legs after a race (all that chattering is tough work on those jaw muscles!). Anyway, thank you Brazen Racing for a wonderful event. You are absolutely awesome… so well organized, great course markings, amazing volunteers, and fun! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see Vacaville in a completely different way!