This weekend we headed up to Clackamas Lake to participate in the Mt Hood PCT 50 mile race. Truthfully, our official participation was expected to be minimal. This was the last race I had signed up for that I couldn't run and Marc had planned to run in my place as he has for all my other races this year. But a few weeks ago he decided to drop out of the Cascade Crest 100 and so decided he'd rather not run this one again. We already had our camping spot so figured we'd make the trip and maybe help out a little bit. We drove up on Friday afternoon with a load of our camping gear and some of the race stuff too. After setting up camp we headed over to race central and helped organize some of the aid station supplies. On our walk back to camp, Marc commented to me that he had deliberately not brought any of his running shoes, clothes or gear so that he wouldn't get caught up in the pre-race excitement and want to run. But later that evening he made the "mistake" of walking by Olga and Monika's camp. If you've read this blog for at least a year you'll see where this is leading. He came back to camp and said he needed my permission to run the race. Hmmm....he's never needed my permission to do anything before. But I gave my okay. Fortunately, the race swag included shorts and socks. And he had brought along a hydration pack to use for hiking. For shoes, he traded his hikers for Jeff's (the ORRC race director) running shoes. They were a bit small but would have to do.
Saturday we were up at 4:30 am to get ready for the 5:30 am early start. At the check in I ran into Bret. He had an extra pair of trail runners that were a better fit, so Marc wore those instead. Gail had forgotten her shoe inserts. I was wearing my running shoes and fortunately we wear the same size. So I passed on the good karma and gave her my super feet inserts. No need to follow the "nothing new on race day" rule when you're a maniac, huh? Personally, I've always thought it better to be flexible and go with the flow, than worry about having everything just so.
The little guy and I drove to meet Marc at the first aid station 6 miles in at Little Crater Lake.
Marc wanted to dump his pack because the old water reservoir hadn't been used in a while and made the water taste funky. But since we didn't have an alternative to give him, I encouraged him to just flush it out and makes sure it was full of Heed instead of water to help with the taste. That seemed to work.
After we sent him off, we headed back to camp for a 3 hour snooze. Then we took a hike around Clackamas Lake looking for adventures. We found a beautiful spring, some big logs for climbing, as well as a ton of mosquitoes.
After lunch time we went back to race central to try to make ourselves useful. I helped with the BBQ and the little guy made sure the sodas were well stocked and cold. I loved being right there to see the finishers come in. Fast or slow, it was a rush every time! Since Marc had actually trained this year, I though he might come in quicker. But he was actually slower. He tweaked his knee about a week ago at the gym and I was worried that it was bothering him. But it was fine...he was just enjoying his day and not concerned about proving himself. So that was a relief.
The weekend was close to perfect, except for one thing. As we were waiting for Marc to come in, the little guy managed to get tangled in an old barbed wire fence and cut his brow on the metal post. Oh the mommy guilt! Fortunately it didn't look too serious and we were able to get it cleaned up. But I wanted to get back so we could get it checked out. That cut (no pun intended!) our camping trip short and we drove home Saturday evening instead of camping out another night. We didn't get home in time for urgent care and we didn't think a trip to emergency was warranted. So we went to urgent care this morning, got him steri-stripped and he'll be fine. Just no swimming this week.
So another year, another awesome Mt Hood PCT 50. Maybe the third time's a charm and I'll be able to run it next year. But just in case, I'm making sure Marc brings along his running shoes!