It was a very sweet message he had left on my answering machine and I typed it up in full detail of what he said to me. Anyway, I was hoping to see him at the race but wasn't sure I would since he was running the 25K and they were starting an hour later. Well, as we were getting some instructions from the RD's I happened to scan the crowd and saw this elderly man standing over by the building and I just KNEW it had to be him. See him in the white sailor cap and blue coat?
Fighting with Amanda if you want to read and follow more about her. It warms my heart to know our racing money is helping those who are in such need.
6:00 am and the countdown begins. There are no timing chips or timing mats, just ready, set, go kind of thing and we were off. The weather was cool and felt so nice. I immediately warmed up as I started running.
The crowd of runners didn't feel too congested as we maneuvered on down into a single track section right in the beginning. I was worried that I may be holding people up behind me but when I looked back there was plenty of distance. You can usually hear if someone is right on your tail too wanting to pass. As we came out of this section and onto a higher part of wider trail I met up with another gal I ran into last year named Missy. She was running a tad bit slower than last year having just completed a 50 miler at Squaw Peak 2 weeks ago. She was hanging back a little with me and we were having some good conversations. That always helps the miles go by a little quicker. She was shocked I remembered her from last year. I never forget an awesome runner who is kind to me.
The next aid station would be at the top of Peak View after traveling up the Gas Line trail past Ghost Falls. Mile 9.6 was aid station #2 and was filled with all sorts of goodies to fill my belly. I grabbed some peanut butter sandwich squares, potato chips and a couple pieces of frozen watermelon and filled up my hydration vest. I also grabbed a few peanut m&m's for the road.
This next section is where they changed the course and added 7 brand new miles up and down in what's called Suncrest into Highland. There were some pretty rough and tumbley areas with big rocks. A lot of it was very pretty too, but I was bummed that a lot of the downhill had to be taken slowly so that I didn't twist an ankle. Downhill running makes me really happy but not if I have to watch the ground the whole time. It was also in this area that I wanted to sing songs from the Sound of Music. Oh, speaking of music I actually listened to my ipod this year and enjoyed Mr. John Mayer for the majority of my hours out here. I really dig his voice!
My good friend Jody called me when I down in a ravine and climbing. It was so fun to hear a familiar upbeat voice. She knows how to make me laugh! She had been helping man an aid station at the American Fork Half Marathon. That's where my heart was. I love that race but apparently I loved Corner Canyon more this year.
After finishing up this loop we came back to aid station #2 which would be aid station #3 as well. I got my hydration bag filled with ice which was so refreshing. The heat was really starting to climb now. I grabbed some more peanut butter sandwiches, watermelon, chips and peanut m&m's and headed out again. The next section of trail is one of my favorites. It's called Anne's Trail and runs across the mountain instead of up and down it. It only lasted less than three miles though and we were to aid station #4, but right before that we had to do a massive climb. I am not a fan of climbing and still wonder why I do this?
The climb up Widow Maker is so hard to describe. The first word that keeps coming to mind is BRUTAL. I don't have the vocabulary to truly explain. Please just believe me that it was the most challenging thing I've ever done. I remembered from last year that it was hard but it just seemed harder this year. On top of that they changed the course up on top as well. We had to do an additional out and back for an additional 1.4 miles before we continued to climb. The out and back had some stickers we needed to put on our bib to prove we did that portion. Can you tell what I was wishing for?
We traveled up and down those 4 bumps to the out and back for our lousy little sticker. Oh yeah, and to get the mileage in. By the time I reached that place in the race I was seriously feeling like this.
I had never been to this point on the mountain and tried to take a 360 degree photo. It didn't work well at all but here are a few photos I took starting with looking down into Utah County at Utah Lake and then moving to the right into Salt Lake County. Incredible views and incredible heat. Occasional breezes would blow which was seriously a gift from heaven.
I was refreshed and ready to go after sitting for a few minutes. This would be the last time I really felt decent for the rest of the race. I'm smiling so big because I know that the rest of the mileage is mostly downhill and that's where my happy place is, running downhill. And off I went! Down, down, down. Around mile 28 I started getting sharp stabs across my belly. Uh oh.......I think I ate too much watermelon. It would come and go for the remainder of the last few miles. It was sharp enough pains that I would seriously stop and bend over and almost cry like a baby. I just needed to be done and find a bathroom.
As I came into the finish line area Cory and his buddies came in with me. It was fun to see them the whole entire day out on the course, seesawing back and forth. It just so happened that we all came in together for the final half mile. I told Cory right then and there that I vow to NEVER, EVER run this race again. I don't think he believed me.
I saw the sprinkler there at the finish line and couldn't wait to get in it. I hurried across the line and immediately went back over and took off my shoes, watch, ipod, vest, sunglasses, etc and stood in that sprinkler for probably 5 minutes. I washed all the sweat, grime, and salt off of me and enjoyed the cold water. It gave me chills and my teeth were chattering. I made a pit stop and hoped to feel a little better soon. I got a little food thinking that may help and it did taste delicious. They ran out of cups at the finish line station and so I drank some chocolate milk out of a bowl. It was a little bit frozen so it tasted like a little frosty with icicles in it. I enjoyed it but just still wasn't feeling quite right. I think the heat was just a bit too much for me today.
|Such a positive guy and full of helps, tips and great support. I could probably blame him for a lot of my desire in exploring the ultra scene. If you aren't currently reading his blog you should. Fast Cory.com|
PS-see that mountain behind me, waaaayyyy back there? That's the infamous Widow Maker. Just plain nuts I tell ya.