What a glorious day, what a glorious view, what a glorious bunch of people and what a freaking tough event.
Damn that Chirico trail is tough... especially after five or six laps. I was told it's about 1.8 miles to the top and 1700' of vertical. It's called a 'tenpeat' meaning some people try for 10 laps, I only lasted for eight. Ouch!
"Go!" And James Varner, after making all kinds of excuses about his marathon training isn't well suited to this event is off like a shot. I quickly realize that this trail is a long, stone staircase... On the way down I get a massive nosebleed! Miraculously it doesn't get all over my clothes but my face is a mess. On the way down I see Tim Mathis going up and promptly trip and summersault down the rocky trail. Luckily no harm done. I rinse off at the aid station but the bleeding has not stopped completely. Less than optimal start for sure.
Shirts off! It's already nice and warm. My nose settles down but I have to rinse my face again at the aid station.
Feeling good. Nose is good. I'm doing 50 minute laps and the effort is manageable. I go to rinse my face and accidentally use Nuun. At least it wasn't some sweet energy drink!
On my way up someone shouts at me, "You're killing it!". In retrospect I was killing it with a 56 minute lap. Trey Bailey and Jerry Gamez are near the top taking pictures and talk me into running back and forth in front of the camera with Mt Rainier in the background. This time I rinse with water.
Note to self - if you are killing it you better be really, really fit (I am not) or the race better be just about over (it was not). Somehow I managed a 55 minuet lap.
Six was hard. 61 minutes and so much for going under on hour each time up.
Six was hard but seven was HARD. I thought I was going to pull the plug. It was 68 minutes (this is known as 'the wheels coming off') and I walked about 99% or the climb. I also felt the beginnings of a cramp in my hamstrings.
At the aid station first Jess Mullen and then Eric Sach were very encouraging and so suddenly I'm off to attempt another lap. Eric felt like going for a hike so tagged along. I had to stop twice on the way up and I was cramping pretty frequently during the eighth lap so decided quitting was better than taking a digger on that VERY rocky trail. This one took 73 minutes but I still managed to 'run' the descent and I didn't trip or fall.
Here are my splits.
Fucking awesome day, it was almost 50 degrees at the start and 80 by the finish. My shirt lasted one whole lap and then it came off. And there was TONS of support in the way of food and drink.
I had some good salt stains on my shorts for the first time since last summer. Kind of fun to see that actually. Thanks Jess! And thanks to Seattle Mountain Running Group for being such an awesome community.
Here are all the pictures I was able to find.
|5:30 AM - applesauce, 1 scoop protein powder, banana, walnuts, Udo's Oil, tea
|6 bottles each w/1.5 scoops Perpetuem, 2 bottles w/Nuun, some plain water, 2 gels, slices of orange, some pieces of banana, maybe a couple of pretzels and pieces of potato
|Time of Day
|50 at the start, low 80s at the finish, sunny, dry, calm
|28.9 miles (8 laps)
|lap 1 - 50 min
lap 2 - 51 min
lap 3 - 51 min
lap 4 - 56 min
lap 5 - 55 min
lap 6 - 61 min
lap 7 - 68 min
lap 8 - 73 min
|Brooks PureGrit 2, Garmin Fenix, Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Plus
|Injinji Run Original Weight Mini-Crew, Brooks 5" Essential Run Short