Friday, May 25, 2012

Sun Mountain 50km

My summer of racing has started with a bang and I'm having a great time so far! Very excited to see how everything will go for me this year! Sun Mountain 50km last weekend was a blast for sure. In a nutshell this is how the first part of my weekend played out...drove to Vernon in about 6 hours on Friday for a quick visit with my brother and fam...ran an easy 9ish km in Kal Park in Vernon on Friday night with Steve to loosen up...ordered in awesome Thai food for supper...Steve and I leave Vernon Saturday morning around 10am for the 4ish hour drive to Winthrop, WA and what seems like in no time we pull into a town looking nothing like what I expected!

Winthrop - old school Western style
 We started wandering around to check out the town and pass this dog tied up outfront of a bookstore. Both of us are staring at this dog and say at the same time, that kind of looks like Roxy (Gary Robbins' dog). She's ignoring us and I say "Roxy!" and she looks up. We turn around and look in the bookstore and lo and behold - Gary Robbins is in there making friends :) Gary and his girlfriend Linda were also running the race...him the 50km like me and Linda the 50mile like Steve! After a brief catch up and meeting a few other runners including Amy Sproston we parted ways, picked up our race bib and headed back to our hotel to chill. We headed out later again for supper and found this restaurant that served some great pizza. I was pretty happy with my pre-race meal!

After getting all our gear ready for the morning it was time for bed...Steve's race started at 7am so we were going to leave around 6ish to drive off to the Sun Mountain trails. Unfortunately there was some rowdy's next door out on the balcony. I thought for sure it was a bunch of teenagers but when Steve checked it out, turns out it was in fact a bunch of old folk! Who knew old people could be so rowdy? We did take comfort in the fact that because they were old, this hopefully meant they would be calling it a night at an earlier hour :) We had the air conditioner going and some ear plugs to help drown the noise and luckily we weren't kept awake too long!

Fast forward to before the 50 mile race start...for some reason I had the racing stomach nerves and I didn't have to race for another 3 hours! It was fun to hang out at the start line with everyone and not getting ready to race yet myself!

Another great photo of me as per usual!  With Steve and Amy (Photo by Matt Hagen)

Steve (yellow) and 50 mile crew getting a pre-race briefing
After they left, I went back to the truck to chill - I had the back set up with a thermarest and sleeping bag to curl up in and read/snooze until 10am rolled around for the 50km! It actually went by fairly quickly and before I knew it, 9am came round and everyone else started pulling up into the parking lot. My race nerves started all over again and I must have had to pee 3 times in that hour before the race, it was ridiculous!

On how the race played out...I'm not going to write a giant race report about it. It was only my 3rd 50km..I still don't know what i'm doing out there...but it definitely makes for an interesting day each time I tackle one of these races. I went through many highs on Sunday where I was having a great day and stoked to be out there.

Photo by Matt Hagen

Of course I went through a couple of lows too...mostly just in the end when there was only a handful of miles to go but we had to do this beast of a climb at the end that went up 1000ft and just kept going and going. I was not a happy camper at this point. What was cool was that I heard someone yell out at me and it was Steve seeing me on  another part of the course...he was finishing up his race and probably had 2 miles left to go from there. I was stoked to see him after all day out there so it was a little boost to get my ass moving and power hike to the top so i could enjoy a nice fun downhill from there.

Steve - looking strong! (Photo by Matt Hagen)
 The last little part seemed to take forever and I was sure I was going to get caught by another female in the end. I was just tired and wanted it to be over already! I wasn't sure if I was the lead female but the last time I passed any woman was at around the 15km mark and I hadn't seen any others since so I was hoping! Finally I started to see some colour through the trees where the finish was set up and then heard some cheering for other runners finishing up. I was so pumped that I was finally there!

I ended up finishing as I had hoped, 1st female overall in around 4:41. Turns out I was also 6th place overall in the race so it was cool to break into the top 10. Steve killed it also and placed 3rd overall in just over 7 hours for the 50 mile and his first race of the year. He's got some great early season training in so far as he gets ready for UTMB at the end of August!

That's it for now, happy running!

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