|Photo credit: Glenn Tachiyama|
When I heard the news that the Miwok 100K had been cut to a 60K because of fire danger, I wasn't very disappointed. I guess there is some unwritten rule that a shortened course is bad news, but to be honest, I was okay with it. I had woken up at 3 AM to get to Stinson Beach by 4, and the start time was changed to 8. I tried my best to sleep in the car while the hardworking race director and volunteers did what they needed to do to re-organize the course on short notice. They did a remarkable job.
I told myself before the start that even though the race had been cut short, 60K was still a lot of Ks and I should resist the temptation to run fast at the beginning. So, I lined up with the elites and bounded up the stairs of the steep Dipsea Trail. I've never been good at listening to advice.
The hills caught up to me and I realized I wasn't running a 5K, so I slowed it down and really tried to enjoy the day. The views were amazing. The last time I was on the course was to pace my friend Jeremy a couple of years ago on a foggy and rainy day. I kept hearing about how stunning the views were, if only you could see them. This year I saw them, clear skies and smooth trails overlooking San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, rugged coastline, single track winding through sequoia forests, and steep stairs on the famous Dipsea Trail. I don't want to bust out too many superlatives, but the scenery on the Miwok course was breathtaking (I would even go as far as calling it mind bottling).
|Speaking of breathtaking|
I did my fair share of talking out on the course, but it seems that most of the people that I was around were pushing really hard due to the shortened course, and that, combined with the heat, made for a lot of struggle. There also seemed to be a lot of racing out there. I know that sounds weird, but some races don't really feel like races, they feel like spending time with friends on the trail, getting to know people and bonding through the pain. This felt like a race, and that's not necessarily a good thing. That probably sounds kind of stupid, because I signed up for a race, so I'll just leave it at that (before I start to sound like an old, whiny ultrarunner...oops, too late).
A few of the highlights of the day included bacon at the Tennessee Valley aid station (thanks Vanessa) and the last three (downhill) miles of the Dipsea Trail. I didn't really know what to expect time-wise from a 60K, so I figured 7 hours would be a good target to shoot for. I finished in 6:47, so I was pretty happy about that, too.
I'm definitely ready to take a break from racing for awhile and I'm very excited to start doing some more specific training for the John Muir Trail where I'll be racing Jess Downer.
|Finish line bliss courtesy of Lagunitas Brewing|
Thanks for reading.