Western States Memorial Weekend Training Runs...A tradition like no other. I have run days two and three but never the first day. Robinson Flat to Foresthill. Really was a fantastic day!
With all the advertising I arrived early in Foresthill and had a chance to hang out with a ton of folks as we waited to get on the bus for the ride up to Robinson Flat. Saturday is day one and is comprised of 32 miles of running. Beginning at Robinson Flat at about 6000 feet we head down to tradional aid stations Dusty Corners, the old mining town of Last Chance, a nice pause at Swinging Bridge, Up Devils Thumb, ramble on down from Deadwood to El Dorado Creek (SWEET!) one more climb to aid at Michigan Bluff and take it to the barn through Volcano Canyon to the finish at the elementry school.
Foresthill School--Registration Area:
I would guess we had about 300 people taking part. I saw many friends along the way...The biggest enterance was the ELITE Runners...Seems Graham Cooper's dad driving a sweet Lexus SUV was shuttling a group of top runners from Drivers Flat to Robinson. The Lexus SUV arrives at the school and out pops top contenders at this years race either top ten or age group placers....Skaden, Cooper, Lantz and others jump out..it was like a Hollywood Production! How funny the joke was they all just needed their Superman Capes to complete the picture.
Robinson Flat was covered in Snow and we had a train of folks moving through the snow fields for the First Mile.
SNOW at Robinson Flat, Me, Mike and Karyn Hoffman hitting the snow!
We where rewarded after that mile with spectacular single track downhill running with stunning views on our way to Dusty Corners.
Me and Rena at Dusty Corners Aid--9miles in.
I had missed Rena after we got off the bus but no worry, there was time to talk to new folks from all over the country..So many just amazed at these trails and telling me they where jealous to have this so close by. The party was moving along past the first aid station at Dusty Corners..Rena got there about a minute before me and it was really slow for the first 9miles. I was feeling ok but legs did not feel too fresh...(I had two back to back speed workouts during the week). Dusty Corners to Last Chance was stunning..
I thought it would have more climbs but really was gently rolling downhill to Swinging Bridge..I started to hear folks along the way say..man my quads are hurting with all this downhill.
Swinging Bridge was about 16miles into the run as we all took time out to grab cold water from the waterfall..cold and it tasted good. We would need it as we began the climb up Devils Thumb. This was MY CRATER MOMENT of the day...My calves where tired and I slugged it up Devils in about 52minutes..SOOOOO SLOW. I was wondering what I could do the rest of the way. I am thankful for the aid station at Deadwood..I had run out of gel by then and needed this station to get some energy back in.
Taking a Dip at El Dorado Creek...
The downhill to El Dorado Creek was in the max heat of the day..it was only about 70 but still sunny and warm..I got the legs moving again and felt good running down to the Creek. Come race day that creek will save many as you have a chance to cool off the body and legs. This proved the same for me today...I moved up Michigan Bluff after my dip feeling good. I was way off schedule as I hit MB but managed a solid 1:30 down and up the canyon to the school..I even had a strong sprint down foresthill road. It was a long day...but nice to be out among friends..Taking today off then back to the training run on Monday from Greengate to the WS Finish.