John Blue Snapped this image a stunning climb
I arrived at the newly renovated Larkspur Hotel in Mill Valley (race central ) to some stunning views and perfect weather for relaxing the day prior. A quick take on the hotel..it was nice, not a lot of thrills, but very clean, and not noisy at all...well worth the price since I never heard a sole while in my room at night..
There where so many familiar faces arriving it was nice to talk to a few. I meet up with other first timers Chris Perillo and Amy Schmich. I would give them a ride to the start. Race day arrived very early with getting up at 3am and then meeting them downstairs. We got to the start with about 50minutes to kill but it seemed to go fast. Dark, not cold, no breeze it would be a nice day.
Conditions where ideal as we all set into our own races..Front of the pack folks including Skaden, Anton, Hal, Wardrian, etc where off fast. I saw Chris and Amy and they looked comfortable each time we passed during the day. I had my plan to take it easy, hydrate and eat well, not let the IT get wacked out on fast downhills. All was going according to plan. I did feel legs being a little tired early on in the race but knew that all this would pass during a long race like this..just get through that low and soon a good section will come. My best section came from the turnaround at mile 35 to Bolinas Ridge about 41miles...With energy in reserve I set out to cut a little time down from my start. This was fun I had a nice pace leading some folks that where most likely on par to finish somewhere in 14hrs..I really had no idea where I was in my pace..I just ran.
I did get caught up in some folks running when they slowed I would slow I wanted to save my energy...but as I got to mile 49 it was late about 11:30hours of running...I had lots of energy and took off after grabbing my flashlight just in case it got dark..A smart move indeed!
My IT had been fine and I kept things in check. I hit HWY 1 and the descent into Tennessee Valley..I had this in the bag I was smelling the barn and feeling good. Well my IT on my left leg flaired up on the downhill to TV..it was frustrating..I wanted to run strong to the finish but could not..Going up hills was not the problem just the downhill...And that is really what the last 7.5 miles where about. It got dark, windy and I hit the flashlight..as I saw the finish in the distance I got passed by a dude I smoked by at the start..oh well.
But in the end I found out a lot...This was my longest time on feet and I went through many different phases, some good, some bad but through it all I kept moving. This race taught me I can do that..It was the slowest ever.
But still satisfying.
I want to say thinks to all the volunteers..Especially Stan Jenson and Victor Ballesteros they where out there all day and always had good things to say when I saw them.
Now work on the IT keep training in the canyons, get in some more heat. The base is really there to finish Western States. No, not a silver buckle bbut a good run will be there the work is showing the dividends.