Kind of a surreal experience today - heading to a race to do 50 kilometers (32 miles) and that being the SHORTEST race. There were also people doing 50 mile and 100 mile races, so my red 50K race bib wasn't very impressive. But it was my first ultra, so I didn't feel too bad.
To jump right to the finish: I generally don't like to publicize my race goals like some people, (although come to think of it, I did on my last race) but I did have a time in mind that I wanted to shoot for today. In the training run two weeks ago on the same course, I stumbled in, vaguely delirious and out of water, in 7:40. So I figured breaking 7 hours might be within reach, if everything went well. Well, everything did - great weather (a little hot), clear skies, good pacing early, stuck to plan of walking most uphills and running flats and downhills, and too my electrolyte tablets religiously every half hour. Felt great throughout, and finished in 6:44.
OK, now for a few pictures:
Ladder-based pre-race briefing from the race director. He's showing one of the huge arrow signs that were at every junction. In addition to these, the course was liberally marked with red and blue ribbons on clothespins. I kidnapped one - it snagged on my pack as I was running under a tree, so I stuck it in a side pocket and kept going. Can't imagine that messed anyone up, it was on singletrack at the time and there were no turns...
This is a look up one of the hills (not even the steepest one) on the Red House loop. Doesn't do it justice. It was a SLOG.
The eponymous red house. Some kind of control shack for the flume/water pipe system that's around there, I think.
Beautiful and fragrant field of wildflowers (mule ear?) still on the Red House loop.
Standard self-portrait, right after the Tunnel Creek aid station, where I finally got to meet a fellow Reno running blogger, Reno's "other" Micheline. Her husband was running in the 100M, I think.
A collection of trail photos. Note the three people stretching off into the distance in the last one. I passed 'em all. And a few more.
One of my favorite places, ever. This is from somewhere on Snow Angel summit, looking over Marlette Lake to Lake Tahoe. This falls into the "remind me to update the section of my will that stipulates where my ashes will be strewn" category.
Big thanks to everyone involved - I had a great time. Lots of volunteers, and a really well-run race.