|Birthday boy --- still young at heart!|
This Sunday race was just one part of a fun family weekend in Central Oregon. The boy had a day off school so I took the day off too and we drove out to Bend on Friday. Marc's birthday was on Saturday and he wanted to practice both his kayaking and skiing for the upcoming Pole, Peddle, Paddle relay. We arrived in time on Friday for Marc to take the kayak out for a spin and then head over to 10 Barrel Brewing for an early birthday dinner.
Saturday we drove up to Mt Bachelor so Marc could ski. We left sunny Bend and as we travelled up Century Drive the weather quickly changed. It was a bit stormy up on the mountain. The boy and I happily set up camp in the lodge with our books while Marc took off on his nordic skis. After an hour he came and found us and told us about his exhilarating loop, wondering if he should go out again. Of course you should! I said. So out he went again and came back in another hour even more energized.
|The boy tried out the big kayak too. He didn't get very far!|
As we drove down the mountain we saw a sign pointing to some river trailheads. We turned off and found another spot where Marc could put in his kayak. The boy and I hiked around while Marc enjoyed some more river time. Back in Bend, we ate a healthy pre-race dinner at Cafe Yumm. All in all it was a fun birthday of doing things --- that's the way we like to celebrate.
|Marc said I was beaming at the start - I guess that was true!!|
Sunday morning, race day was chilly, with the possibility of some snow in the forecast. Marc drove me up to Sisters to send me off. I decided to take the early start, mainly because I wanted us to be able to leave for home earlier rather than later. I also didn't feel like this was a big race for me. I was more just interested in experiencing the trails and see how it felt to run the odd race distance of 40 miles. I bet it was about 30 degrees at the start. Thank goodness for hand warmers! My time goal for this race was to finish under 8 hours. Based on past results it looked like a sub 7:30 was possible. However, this race has likely been short of 40 miles - probably only 37 - and Sean added a loop at the beginning to bring it up to 40 (or at least 39). So sub 8 seemed more reasonable.
I ended up running most of the early miles with Eb who I had met at Pac Rim. I pulled ahead at one point and then he passed me when I took a bio break. I ended up spending a lot of the middle miles trying to catch up with him, which was a good motivator. I finally did around mile 26 and then we were together or leapfrogged before I finally pulled ahead after the last aid station.
We got our snow around mile 28. There had been flurries prior, but at this point in started coming down in big flakes. So beautiful!
While I was busy running, the boys got to play at Tumalo State Park:
Some people don't like all the gravel road, but I thoroughly enjoyed this race. I felt great from start to finish! Like with Hagg, I changed my Garmin display so I could only see the time and elevation and had it alert me every 30 minutes to eat, with no mile alerts Again, this worked really well for me and I'm going to keep it up.
I need to work on pushing the pace more in the beginning, but this race was not so much about racing. That said, even when I'm not in the racing mindset my competitive juices always seem to kick in at some point. In the last miles I started to pass some of the early starters that were ahead of me. I came upon one gal I recognized from the earlier miles who was stepping aside for the regular starters who were passing. As I came up to her, she started to step aside, but then looked back at me and said "Oh" --- as in "Oh, it's only you." The thought in my head was not so nice -- "You better believe it's me and I'm passing you!" And pass I did....but I think nice me gave her "Nice work" as I passed.
As soon as I could see the final road crossing I knew the end was near and picked it up.
I definitely didn't leave it all on the course this day since it felt like I practically sprinted around the track. My finish time was 7:42:55 which I was pretty happy with whether it was 39 or 40 miles. Had a lot of fun hanging out with friends old and new at the finish line and then enjoying a hot shower in the middle school locker room. What a luxury!
This is really a wonderful old school trail ultra. I hope the vibe never changes.