Silver State 50/50 half marathon yesterday - there were some sprinkles and some dark clouds - but it blew over pretty quickly, and turned into an awesome day. That's why I have no pictures, though - I didn't want to bring my camera/phone along if it was going to get soaked.
The course left Rancho San Rafael, went through the tunnel under McCarran, and headed up Evans Creek canyon. Kept climbing before a little downhill into the aid station at the radio towers, about 4 miles. More singletrack climbing, some dirt road for a while, and more singletrack before a big climb into the aid station at The Pond, about seven miles in. We had to loop around the far side of the pond due to a trail being washed out, but that didn't add more than a couple hundred yards. The comes the crazy steep climb, on which it's hard to even keep your feet from slipping, let alone keep your progress moving forward. Apparently, there was a junction near the bottom of this hill that led up on singletrack, but I was following the people that I could just barely see in front of me, who were up at the top of the hill. There were no markings at the top, but I knew the trail went to the right, and after a small rise I saw the Ridge View aid station. They let me know I had gone the wrong way (although there wasn't really any difference in distance.) At that point, though, the fun started - a few miles of fast, winding singletrack, swooping through gullies and over little wood bridges. I took one fall in here, but caught myself OK. At this point, I couldn't see anyone in front of or behind me - it got kind of lonely out there after mile 8. These trails headed back to the Radio Towers aid station, then back to the start/finish area by a slightly different route.
I was doing the maths in my head and thought I'd be coming in in the low 1:50s - hoping to break 1:55. I must have calculated wrong, because I had to double check my watch when I saw the finish clock saying 1:48 something. After recovering a bit, putting my legs up, and having a bite to eat, I figured out that that was about an 11 minute course PR - and good enough to win my age group. Somehow I missed what my overall place is, but that will show up soon enough.
As usual, I had to do a full day of errands with the family after the race - so I went home, showered up, and hit the road. Kind of worn out from all that now - but sure had a great day of racing yesterday. Think I'll take a break from races for a couple weeks now - at least until the Reno/Tahoe Odyssey -