Saturday, October 18, 2014

Corner Canyon 50K

October 18, 2014
Corner Canyon 50K

This is an amazing race that assists a different person/family each year with their fight against cancer.
Troy Robertson, and Johnny Runner are the RD's and they do an absolutely fantastic job in the whole aspect of this run.  The trails are marked well.  The aid stations are well stocked.  The meal afterwards is quite delicious.  It's just a well put together race.

This is the 3rd year it has been put on and I have run all three years now. 
My times for all 3 years are:
1st year: 9 hours 46 minutes 17 seconds
2nd year: 9 hours 21 minutes 17 seconds 
3rd year: 6 hours 58 minutes 6 seconds

After running last year I had decided I was swearing off this race because of the difficulty of it.  But if you are a runner than you understand the mentality of repeating races that you just feel like you need to conquer and improve upon.

I picked up my packet on Friday evening and got to bed by around 10:00 pm and up at 4:15 am.

This is what 5:00 for me looked like.  I was excited, nervous, and ready to take on this challenge.  
I have been working hard for 1 solid year now with rowing and stair climbing at the gym.
I just wanted to see what this body of mine could do with a little more strength under my belt now.
It was so fun to see a few familiar faces at the starting line.  Especially since this would be a fairly small race with only about 50 people running the 50K.
Galen Garrison has been a running friend for awhile and has given me many great tips for ultra running.  He has run a lot of the same ultras I have and has even traveled to Logan with me and Mark for a big race up there.  He's a good guy.
Melanie is one of my running idols.  She works out at the same gym as me and every time she rides the spin bike I admire her beautiful back muscles.  She's an Iron woman and is CRAZY fast!  She went on to win the race today as top female.  Yes!  She's pretty awesome.
Carl Tippets has run this race every year too.  He's just as nice as can be.  I first met him a couple years ago when I swept/cleaned the Red Hot 30K course, in Moab.  He was running with his daughter and was just so patient and kind helping her along with her ultra experience.  What a great dad!
After a few pre-race announcements and instructions the race got underway at 6:00 am.  This early hour meant we would be running in the dark for well over an hour.  I had my headlamp but was a little disappointed that it didn't shine very bright.  I probably should have changed the batteries.  I ran behind a gal whose light was super bright for a good 3+ miles.  I was very grateful for that.  This photo of the Salt Lake Valley was taken around mile 5 as the sky was finally starting to lighten up a little.
Sunrises always make me happy.  I love the thoughts they bring:
 new energy, love, inspiration, strength, joy, happiness, a new day!
I also love that I can see Mount Timpanogos way off in the distance from this angle!

Our first aid station was mile 3.6 for water only.  The next one wouldn't be until mile 9.6 at the top of what is called Peak View.  After enjoying a few goodies there at the second aid station this is the scenery I would be enjoying for quite a fun section of the course.  Lots of fast downhill running for a few miles.  But usually that just means some brutal uphill is coming.
So that is precisely what happened.  Oh well, it's OK.  It's a hill, get over it, right? I was prepared and ready for tackling any hill I came upon today.  Trust me, there were plenty to tackle.   Back to Peak view for aid station stop #3 after this loop section at mile 16.  I refueled and grabbed some goodies for later.

The next aid station was only a couple miles down the trail at Potato Hill but would be used twice in the race at mile 18.5 and then again at mile 27.5.  I refilled my water pack and carried on.  Not wasting time at aid stations is something I've learned to try and be better at if I'm hurrying.  Get in and get out pronto!!
After enjoying 22 miles of this beautiful place to run and showing a sign of my feelings about all I've experienced, I knew the worst of what would be happening was getting ready to begin.  I would call this next brutal section the Death March!!!
 AND THIS.......
AND THIS IS just a little taste of what was experienced for a solid three miles.  It was not a pretty section and the RD's get a kick out of making it part of the course.  They said Widow Maker is a signature section of their race and they won't plan to ever take it out. (Trust me, I asked them to)  It's always the section for me that makes me question why I do this??

Finally at the top of the hill at the aid station called Maack Hill (named after the RD Johnny Maack Runner who has battled and beat cancer) I refilled my water again and fueled up with some goodies and headed back down this mountain.  Pretty much the rest of the way to the finish line would be some nice, sweet downhills.
This would be my final aid station at about 28.5 miles.  I looked at my watch and saw it read about 6 1/2 hours.  The volunteers there said I had about 3.5 miles left to go.  I wondered if I could break 7 hours?  Would it be possible?  How accurate was their guess at the distance left to cover?
I decided I wouldn't know unless I tried.  I thanked them for their service and headed off down, down, down the trails.  Running downhill always makes me giggle, and I had to do that a few times.

I was in such a hurry to get to the finish line that I probably didn't enjoy much of the scenery of the last few miles but that was alright with the goal I had just decided to attempt.

It was going to be close.  I just kept at it, running with all the energy and speed I could muster up.  I saw the finish line area coming into view with about 6 minutes left and so I put on the full throttle!  I was so happy to cross that finish line with a couple minutes to spare.

What a great race, great day, and great experience!
I should be back again next year! 
Why end a good thing?

Official results:
6:58:06 (not sure how it's so different)
13th place overall of 41
5th woman of 20
 Pretty cute little medal.  I now have three exactly alike :)
Trader Joe's was one of the sponsors and they hooked us up with lots of goodies at the finish line.  I also won a couple prizes, a solar flashlight and a bottle of energy/endurance workout stuff.  Fun!
I am finally exhausted and enjoying some chilling out with my compression socks and a little piano playing for relaxation.


Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Big congrats! Your finish times have improved dramatically! I'm running my 2nd 50K in November. Can't wait!

Will Cooper said...

Great to see the training pay off like that! Nice job out there on a killer course! BTW...that Garmin looks gigantic on your arm (I think they make smaller ones now ;-)

runningmom said...

Love that you call it the Death March! Great write-up. You did awesome!

Kathee said...

You are so amazing!!! I can't believe how fast you are now. First blasting Mt. Nebo and now this. Maybe I need to start rowing and stair master! Way to go!

Doran & Jody said...

You! Are! Awesome SHEra!!

I'm so proud of you!!