When I woke up yesterday to the sound of rain my heart sank. My last ultra 3 weeks ago was in the rain and mud and I was hoping for something different this time around. The event was 25 minutes from where I live but I had never been in the park. The event was run by Pacific Coast Trail Runs again, these folks are amazing.
The elevation gain was over 5,000 ft throughout the duration of 50KM. This being my 4th race I am getting more familiar with what to expect. This course was a tough one and very technical in places. The majority of the course is single track in the midst of trees. It has breathtaking scenery which is what I enjoy most about trail running.
I did well and was keeping up my normal pace for the most part. Then I was faced with some really tough and slippery climbing which burned out my quads for a while. I never stopped going but I felt this one physically more than the previous ones. This course was slower due to climbing under trees, navigating boulders, traversing streams, and at one point wading through a small lake (caused by the rainfall). The rain stopped just before the race began which made the temperature perfect but the trails treacherous. There were so many times I slipped and tripped that I thought for sure I would get hurt or end up on my ass in mud somewhere. I did witness several people going down in it so there was no shortage of cuts and blood. The worst scene I saw though was one guy with half his shirt soaked in blood all from one nipple. I almost stopped to ask him for a picture but then considered it somewhat inappropriate...
I did well in the race overall and came in what I think would be the top third. My time was 6 hrs 31 mins which is almost half an hour slower than my usual time. I am learning that you cannot benchmark one race against another as the conditions change radically from park to park.
My next race is the Mount Diablo 50K in 3 weeks time. I am looking forward to this one as it is in my backyard. It will be a tough one too but one of my best friends is running it with me. It will be his first ultra and we won't be looking at watches and times but rather mocking each other for the day.
I have no pictures this time around and no GPS stats as my Garmin ran out of batteries 5 hrs in.