What a great day on the island! Well I decided to drop down the 25k. I had to decide if I wanted to race/run a 25k or if I wanted to finish a 50k. I opted to see what I could do in the 25k. Since the last 2 weeks I didn't get good training in I wasn't sure what to expect on the course. On the drive out to the island I turned off the radio and phone and just thought in silence. The plan was to go out and just enjoy the day and see some old friends. Once I got to the start, the plan changed. I decided to push hard for the first 5 miles and see how I felt. Since this race starts and goes up gradually 600+ feet I immediately thought my plan was ruined. I just do not go up well at all. To my surprise I did alright and felt decent so I kept chugging along. My pace was comfortable but not too slow and as I settled into it I found it was easier than I thought. I hit the first aid station and was looking forward to the 2 mile downhill. I just let gravity take control and try to keep my fat butt upright. Worked again! Hit the bottom and knew the long switchbacks were in play. I opted to run this as much as I could knowing I had some miles to go after the climb was over. As I neared the top I got a pat on the back from a familiar face- Greg Norrander. Great guy and it gave me a little boost (thanks Greg). He was in the 50k and looking strong! When I got to the top, Jared Campbell (5ok) passed me and I decided to run with him for awhile until he dropped me at the next gradual climb. After that we hit a fun little single track that winds around, up and down until you hit Elephant again. Once there I thought I had an outside chance at my PR. This was my 5th year running the 25k and I remember my favorite ultra quote- "Take chances" (Brian Fisher). I thought- what the hell! After I left Elephant Head I was ready to redline it until I puked or passed out. I was hoping to pass out cause I hate puking. Running through the little valley and heading up the quick steep climb I knew from that point to the finish would test me. I can usually dig down and find some "manjo" (more on that later) to finish pretty strong. All I could think about was "Take Chances"! I felt if I pushed hard I really could get my PR. Well, I ran hard as I could and kept telling myself it would be over soon. As I headed down the to the finish I kept glancing at my watch and knew redlining may be cutting it close so I tried to find another gear. As I hit the fence line I heard some familiar voices as well as saw some smiling faces. I crossed in 2:31:26 which was my PR by over 3 minutes. Not huge but for a guy like me, it was pretty cool.
It felt good to run the race the way I did considering my poor training. I was there just in time to see my good friend Scott Jaime finish the 50 mile. Read about that HERE. As I was on my way over to some Buffalo Stew I saw Nick Clark who just set the CR for the 50k. Read about that HERE.
Meandering around the finish area I got to meet some new people and catch up with some old friends. Maybe this is why I run these races. I will rack this up to a very successful day on all fronts. Congrats to all who ran, volunteered and supported. A BIG thank you to RD Jim Skaggs- a great guy, great RD and good friend. Thanks for putting on such a great race. Once again the race received rave reviews all around. I recommend this race to anyone and everyone! It sure is attracting some solid runners and a large number to boot.
Read more about "manjo" is my next post and remember- Take Chances!